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Last week was filled with harness racing Stakes action at Harrah's Philadelphia, with two year old pacers and trotters competing in Divisions of the John Simpson Memorial over the weekend, with purses ranging from $30 - $35,000. Trainer Nifty Norman dominated Friday's action with three wins out of the seven divisions, including $75 winner Maria Deo in the first division for 2-yo-filly trotters. Norman went on to take the first two divisions of the filly pace on Friday, with impressive winner Reign On Me (1:53.1) and Sandy's Beach, who won via disqualification. The winner Better Than Happy was taken down for interference at three-quarters. Jake Huff trainee Azreal As It Gets (1:54.2) won the third pacing division. Other winners in the Freshman Trotting class were Looking for Zelda (1:56.1), who went the fastest of the four divisions, Perfect Summer K (1:56.3), and Weekend Wit BigD (1:58.2), who paid $84.80 to win. Driver Vic Kirby also drove Division one winner Maria Deo to her upset victory. On Sunday, the colts and geldings took front and center stage, and so did Drivers Tyler Buter and George Napolitano Jr, who each had 5 wins on the 14 race program. There were 3 divisions in the pacing class. They went to Linda Toscano Trainee Casual Cool (1:54.1), Roland Mallar student Yupper (1:53.1), and the John Butenschoen conditioned Parike Blue Chip, who's 1:51.4 clocking was the series' fastest. The trotting divisions were taken by Lynette Buter trainee I Know My Rights (1:57.4), Ake Svanstedt's Six Pack (1:55.4), and John Butenschoen charge Scirocco Rob (1:57.3). Also on the program, the 2015 Pepsi North America Cup winner Wakizashi Hanover took down a hard-earned victory in the Winners Over on Sunday in 1:50.1 for owners Tri-County Stable and Bruce Kennedy. The 5-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again was parked early, but settled into prime striking range behind the brushing Kid PK before using a passing lane move to win. He was driven by Vic Kirby. It's another big week of racing coming up at Harrah's Philly starting Wednesday. As always, Harrah's offers low takeouts on their Pick 4 (starts in race 2) and pick 5 (starts in race 6) of 15%. On Thursday, triple millionaire Market Share will be in action in race 8, an upper conditioned level trot. On Friday, the mares will be in action. Race 8 is an upper-conditioned level pace, featuring winners from a week ago Cousin Mary and Regil Elektra in a stellar field of 9. Harrah's Philly races live every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday with a post time of 12:40 PM Eastern. Michael Bozich .

There were four divisions of the John Simpson Memorial for harness racing 3-year-old filly pacers and trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 20), each going for a purse of $30,000. The first division for filly pacers went to Magic Forces (Marcus Miller). The daughter of Art Major-Magic Of Michelle went right to the top, setting fractions of :27.3, :56.1, and 1:24.1. The final time was 1:52, a lifetime mark.. The Erv Miller trainee is owned by Paymaq Racing, Ron Michelon, and Hannah Miller. Division two saw Cool Cat Racing's Perplexed take advantage of a pocket-trip to pick up the victory. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Monkeys Can Sing won for the sixth time in her career in start twenty-eight for Trainer Nifty Norman. She now has earnings over $95,000. World Apart (Jason Bartlett) set an extremely slow tempo on the front end to secure the victory as the heavy favorite in the third division. The daughter of Art Major-Polar Opposition had plenty left in the tank, stopping ghe clock in 1:52.2 for owners South Mountain Stables, Bay's Stable, Little E LLC, and Radio Racing Stable. She is trained by Linda Toscano. She is now a seven time winner with earnings over $265,000. Division four saw Chillin It De Vie (Marcus Miller) rallying from second-over position to win. The daughter of Well Said-Flibbertigibbet paced the mile in 1:52 for owners Joie De Vie and Winbak Farms. She is trained by Hermann Heitmann. It was her fifth career win, with career earnings now over $60,000. The first division for filly trotters went to Hot Mess Hanover (George Napolitano Jr.). The daughter of Cantab Hall-Her Culese went right to the front, and drew off willingly in a final time of 1:53.4, just two-fifths of a second off of the track record. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Her Culese is owned by Ed Smith Estates, Dave Smith, James and Dan Giannuzzi, and is trained by Joe Pavia Jr. It was her fifth career win in start twenty-five, with over $93,000 in career earnings. Division two saw Itsgoodtobequeen (Pat Berry) looping off of cover sweeping past in 1:54.4 for owners Jon Erdner, Martin Garey, and Henry Wieseneck. Doug Hamilton was the winning trainer. The victory for the daughter of Muscle Massive-Ucalthisahoneymoon is now over $100,000 in career earnings and a six-time winner out of twenty-three starts. Divisin three was taken by Broadway Concert (Corey Callahan). The daughter of Broadway Hall-Luscious Lindy sat pocket behind EZ Passer, who made a break at the eigth pole. The John Butenschoen trainee inherited the lead, and went on to win in 1:54.3. It was her fifth career win in start nineteen for owner Bay Pond Racing Stable. The fourth and final division went to Sianna Hanover (Joe Bongiorno). The daughter of Donato Hanover-Simplicity sat the pocket before roaring up the passing lane for the victory in a final time of 1:55.4. She is owned by Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stables and Jerry and Theresa Silva Stables, and trained by Ron Burke. It was her fifth career win in start twenty-five, with earnings now over $166,000. Michael Bozich .

At nearly 99-1 odds, the Francisco Del Cid trainee Stealth Hanover made a break in the Hambletonian eliminations, finishing eighth, failing to make the harness racing final. After another up-the-track finish in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, the 3-year-old gelded son of Andover Hall-Secret Credit began to figure it out. With the addition of trotting hopples and driver Simon Allard, things began to turn around. Stealth Hanover entered the John Simpson Memorial at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon (September 17th) on a two race win streak. The latest coming in the Liberty Bell last week at Harrah's Philadelphia, a three and three-quarters length win in a lifetime's best 1:54 clocking. This week, he was face-to-face with Hambletonian Champion Perfect Spirit (Ake Svanstedt). It was the Svanstedt's charge first race since winning the prestigious trophy back on August 5th, via disqualification. This day was indeed a different day however, as Stealth Hanover went right to the top and never looked back. He won in a track-record time of 1:52, ousting the great Pinkman's record of 1:52.2 for 3-year-old gelding trotters set in 2015. It was his fifth win of the season. Stealth Hanover is also co-owned by Mario Mazza. There were four divisions in total of the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old trotters. The Julie Miller trainee Fly On scored another impressive victory in race two on the program. The son of Muscle Hill-Calchips Finisher drew away to win in a time of 1:53.1 for owners Arden Homestead, Gaitway Stables, and the Andy Miller Stables. It was easily a lifetime best. In a re-match of the Townsend-Ackerman at the Meadowlands, Yes Mickey (Ake Svanstedt) turned the tables on Two AM (Tyler Buter) in 1:53.3. The gelded son of Muscle Hill-My Favorite Chip struck the top after being parked the quarter, going on to a decisive victory for owners Melby Gard Inc. Division three went to Awol Hanover, winning for red-hot trainer Luc Blais in a lifetime's best 1:54.3. The gelded son of Donato Hanover-Angel Fire Hanover sat pocket behind the deliberate speed of President Lindy, before edging out at the eighth pole to power by. He is owned by Determination of Canada. There were also four division of the John Simpson Memorial for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers going for a purse of $30,000. The first division was won by Mark Silva trainee Mac Attack (Andy Miller). The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Pirouette Hanover was a dominant front end winner, scoring in a lifetime's best 1:50.2. He is owned by Jeffrey Snyder. Division two went to Q's Cruise (Victor Kirby). The gelded son of Yankee Glide went on to his seventh win in his last nine starts with the pocket victory today. The 1:50 clocking was a lifetime's best. He is owned by trainer Jim King Jr. The win put him over the $100,000 mark in career earnings. The third division was taken by Eddard Hanover (Matt Kakaley). The gelded son of Dragon Again-Edra Hanover went to the top, and held off the pocket sitter Mac's Jackpot to secure the win. The final time was 1:52.1. He is owned by Burke Racing, Jjk Stables, Larry Karr, and Weaver Bruscemi. The fourth and final division went to Beach Boogie (Simon Allard). The gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere-Dance Until Dawn was expertly rated by Allard, scoring in 1:52.1 for owners Allard Racing, and Jack and Ferne Frydman. The Rene Allard trainee was able to out sprint the heavily favored Donttellmeagain to win for the eighth time in his career. Michael Bozich .

The Liberty Bell Series continued on Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, with the hrness racing 3-year-old Fillies taking front and center stage. There were five division for trotters and three divisions for pacers, each going for a purse of $30,000. The first trotting division was taken by John Butenschoen trainee Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan). The high percentage winning daughter of Cantab Hall-Pine Chip went right to the front, setting fractions of :28, :57.2, 1:26.1, and completed the mile in 1:55. She gamely held off the late bid of the pocket-sitting Sianna Hanover (Joe Bongiorno) for her 11th win in 24 starts. She pushed her earnings lifetime earnings over the $600,000 mark for owners Bill Wiswell and M & L of Delaware. Division two saw Cool Cates (Andy McCarthy) score the front-end victory. The Noel Daley charge was engaged by Hot Mess Hanover (George Napolitano Jr) at the 5/8ths mark, but was able to rebuff that bid, winning in 1:55.1. Leet Hanover finished second, while Hot Mess Hanover faded to third. It was the 6th win in 16 career starts for the daughter of Yankee Glide-Dance To Market, who is owned by All Laid Out Stables. Another gate-to-wire victory in division three, this time to Charlie Norris trainee Treviso. The daughter of Muscle Massive-Valbonela was able to rate the mile (:29.2, :59.4, 1:28.3, 1:56.3), mostly because two top contenders (Caviart Wonder and No Bus For Us) made breaks at the start. It was Treviso's 11th career win in 20 starts, with earnings just below $300,000. She is owned by Klis Brothers Stable and Carrie Norris. Linda Toscano trainee Crann Tara (Tim Tetrick) made a miraculous recovery after an early break to score in division four. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Shan Richess broke around the first turn, losing nearly 10 lengths before recovering to sweep on by in 1:56.2. It was her 8th career win in 21 starts. Race favorite Itsgoodbequeen (Marcus Miller) broke at the start. Crann Tara is owned by Bill Donovan. The fifth division went to Joe Jannuzzelli's EZ Passer (Jeff Gregory). The daughter of Crazed-Musclegrad used a pocket trip to her advantage, driving up the passing lane to win in a time of 1:55.3 for Trainer Mark Harder. It was her 7th win in start 26, with earnings now over $130,000. The first pacing division went to Sweetest Emotion (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Rocknroll Hanover-Sweet Paprika rallied strong down the stretch to sweep on by in 1:52.3 for owners Pinske Stables, Enzed Racing, and Carter Pinske. It was her 5th career win in start 25, with earnings over $85,000. Yves Sarrazin's YS Tallia (Simon Allard) was game in victory in division two. The daughter of Western Ideal-Bolero Tallia brushed powerfully to the top, and never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:53.1. It was her 5th career win in start 15, with earnings over $95,000. The third and final pacing divison was won by Nick Surick trainee Ella Christina (Tim Tetrick). The daughter of Western Ideal-Arthroscopic made the front-end, but yielded the lead to race-favorite Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy). Ella Christina used the passing lane for room past the 1/8th pole, drawing off willingly in a time of 1:51.4 for owners Surick Stables, J L Benson Stables, Bill Daggett Jr, and Lawrence Vukovic. Driver Tim Tetrick had four driving wins on the program, including three in The Liberty Bell Series. Michael Bozich

CHESTER PA - This past Friday Harrah's Philadelphia Racetrack and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA), hosted the third of its "Summer Series of Racetrack Remembrances," this time featuring Brandywine Raceway - "Beautiful Brandywine" - located just over the state line in Delaware, exactly 12.1 miles from the Harrah's facility. The night was the best-attended of the three featured Friday nights, possibly because Brandywine was not only the closest track to Harrah's, but it also had the longest existence - some 37 years, from 1953 to 1989. It was the pioneer of pari-mutuel harness racing in the Delaware Valley, its summer scenic charms - the spectacular sunsets; the Canadian geese circling to land in the infield pond, and always before the second race; its retractable clubhouse windows - gave many area harness fans a memorable night at the races. Hall of Fame horsemen such as Billy Haughton and Stanley Dancer annually had divisions of their stable at "The Big B," and the greatest equines in the sport's history competed there, with all-time greats Rambling Willie and Direct Scooter setting world records there. Three and four generations of people associated with racing and management at the Delaware oval (a half-mile track until 1969, then converted to a 5/8-mile track) came out to Harrah's on Friday, to keep in touch with longtime friends and to greet people whom they had not seen in many years. "What a superb night it was," said former Brandywine publicity director, now Hall of Famer, Marv Bachrad. "I saw people I had not seen since Brandywine closed. It was so great to reminisce about the old days plus the videos of top races from Brandywine on the big screen TV and all the memorabilia that people brought to display made for a wonderful evening." Of the four drivers who participated in ten or more races Friday, half had family that were a part of the Brandywine tapestry - Allan Davis's father Eddie was the leading driver at Brandywine for several seasons, and before Eddie's success there was success for Mike Lachance, whose son Pat is a Philly regular; Victor Kirby's grandfather Vinal raced at Brandywine for most of the track's history; and Jon Roberts' father William, known as "Bib," often made jaunts over from his Maryland base. There was a memorabilia show and contest held, and appropriately the three top prizes went to people whose family had deep roots at Brandywine: first place was taken by Judy Davis-Wilson, herself program director at Brandywine and whose entire family, especially father Olin, raced there for years. "Everyone that worked or raced at Brandywine were like family," Said Judy Davis-Wilson. "We all looked forward every season to seeing everyone again as Brandywine was one of the first stops of the Grand Circuit. Tonight, it was just like old times with so many horse people and former employees coming out. It was just a great evening." Second place was taken by Michael Wirtschafter, Brandywine unofficial "official historian," whose great-grandfather, Nathan, founded the racetrack and whose grandfather, Howard, ran it for 30 years; and third place was taken by Bob Shahan, leading driver at Brandywine for its last few seasons, for - his collection of leading driver awards from Brandywine! The judging was done by Jody McDonald, popular sportscaster for local radio station WIP and a harness fan. The mixing of the state-of-the-art high-class racing at Harrah's Philadelphia and the nostalgia for the bygone days of "Beautiful Brandywine" made for an enjoyable mix on a pleasant late summer's evening, with many smiles seen among the patrons throughout the evening. In addition to the reunion night, Harrah's and the PHHA also had a live band, free mechanical bull rides and other games in addition to an outdoor grill, all on their outdoor grandstand patio overlooking the races. by Jerry Connors for the PHHA    

The Liberty Bell Series got underway at Harrah's Philadelphia Sunday afternoon with four harness racing divisions for both the 3-year old male pacers and trotters, each going for a purse of $30,000. Division one for the pacers went to Howard Taylor and Ray Schnittker's Summer Side. The son of Well Said-Beachy Lady was able to set the tempo (27.2, 55.4, 1:24.2) going on to a one length win in 1:52.1. It was the colt's sixth career victory, and one of 5 wins on the day for Driver Tim Tetrick. Summer Side's career earnings are now over $319,000 in 21 career starts. Jim King Jr's Q's Cruise (Tim Tetrick) was impressive in victory in the second division. The gelded son of Yankee Cruiser-Modern Hanover struck the front, but yielded the lead to Jo Pa's Somebeach (Brett Miller). After drafting in the pocket, Q's Cruise took aim at the 1/8th pole, and went on to an in-hand victory in 1:51.4 for his 6th win in his last 8 starts. After a track record performance last week, Fox Hollow Farm's Boogie Shuffle (Tyler Buter) won his third straight. The gelded son of Well Said-Ciela Hanover used the passing lane to his advantage, winning a blanket finish in 1:51 for trainer Mark Harder. It was his sixth career win, with earnings now over $360,000. The fourth and final division when to Ron Burke trainee Eddard Hanover (Yannick Gingras). The gelded son of Dragon Again-The Panderosa brushed past the quarter and never looked back, completing the mile in 1:51.3. It was his 6th career win, with earnings now over $230,000. He is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Jjk Stables, and Larry Karr. Division one for the trotters went to John Butenschoen trainee Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan). The son of Yankee Glide-Mazda Hanover won an early battle on the front end and never looked back, securing the victory in 1:54.3 for owners Harmony Oaks Racing, David J Miller, Lawrence Means, and VIP Internet Stables. It was his 12th career win, with earnings now over $400,000. The second division was won in gate-to-wire fashion by President Lindy (Andy Miller). The gelded son of Cantab Hall-True Diva set fractions of 28.2, 58, 1:26.4 and completed the mile in 1:55. It was the Julie Miller trainee's 4th career win, with earnings now over $64,000. He is owned by Andy Miller Stables,Lindy Racing, Gaitway Stables, and Stale Why Not. Division three went to Stealth Hanover (Simon Allard). The gelded son of Andover Hall-Secret Credit made the top, but yielded the lead to favorite Muscles Jared (Chris Lems). He vacated his pocket spot at the eighth, and went on to an impressive 2 length win in a lifetime's best 1:54. It was his 4th career win, with earnings now over $75,000. The fourth division went to Todd Buter trainee Two AM (Tyler Buter). The gelded son of Muscle Massive-Conway Hall benefited nicely from a speed duel up top, sweeping 3-wide at 3 quarters, en-route to a 5 length win in 1:53. It was his 10th career win in 15 starts, with career earnings of over $175,000. Michael Bozich

On Friday, Sept. 8, Harrah's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association are honoring the former harness racing, now legendary, Brandywine Raceway, which raced in nearby Wilmington, Del. from 1952 until closing after the 1989 season. The evening kicks off at 6:00 pm with a free commerorative T-Shirt giveaway with each Harrah's program purchase, a video display of Brandywine classic races, interviews after each race with former drivers and employees from the track, free live music, games for kids and mechanical bull rides. There will be a memorabilia show and contest with $300 in prizes, plus WIP Sports Radio Icon, Jody McDonald, will be at the track and also judging the memorabilia contest.  Many of the top horses and horsemen of the last half of the 20th century headed by immortals Billy Haughton, Stanley Dancer and Joe O'Brian and many more all competed at Brandywine Raceway. Nathan Miller headed the successful drive for a harness track serving the Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey areas. Headed by Miller's son, Howard Miller, Brandywine was an immediate success. In the mid-1960s, entrepreneur John Rollins purchased the operation installing Hap Hansen as raceway director. The popular Delaware raceway quickly emerged as one of the top facilities in the Standardbred industry with the talented Bill Davis as track superintendent. Jim Lynch was its first director of racing and famed Milt Taylor as presiding judge, both since elected to Harness Racing's Hall of Famers. Two following race secretaries, Joe DeFrank and Ted Leonard were also voted into the Hall of Fame. Among other Brandywine employees are in the Harness Racing Hall of Fame Communicators section, announcer Roy Shudt, PR Directors Col. Dave Herman and Marv Bachrad, along with Moira Sullivan Fanning, Jerry Connors and Steve Wolf. Two newspaper writers who covered Brandywine on a daily basis, Izzy Katzman, Wilmington News Journal and Nick Saponara, Phila. Bulletin Handicapper, also are in the Communicator's Corner. In 1960, Brandywine converted its racetrack from a half-mile course to a five-eighth mile oval adding a new clubhouse featuring a window which could become open-air when weather and temporatures permitted. Brandywine closed after several seasons of steep losing financial setbacks after a slots bill , which passed by an overwhelming vote in the Delaware legislature in June 1989. The slots bill would have passed into law without a signature but was vetoed the last minute by then governor Mike Castle. In January 1990, a strong effort to override the veto failed by one vote. A short time late, the Brandywine Raceway property has become a sprawling mall. In its heyday, annually in early June, Brandywine was leadoff track for Grand Circuit racing. The Battle of the Brandywine was the first major three-year-old pace each season. The Tom Hal Colt Pace and Nancy Hanks Filly Trot were major freshman events. Later in the season, the Marques de Lafayette Trot and Adios Harry Pace were top older races. During its existence, 1953-1998, annually, the top colts, fillies and older horses raced at the track. One of the memorable highlights at the track feature the top two pacers in the land when Nansemond overtook Albatross, who made an early misstep on the backstretch to score another upset of the legendary pacer whom he had beaten in two heats of Little Brown Jug. Hall of Famer Herve Filion was part of two memorable events. In 1970, Filion who trained and drove five horses, all from his stable, to sub-2:00 victories, a remarkable feat, especially at the time. Filion also drove unsung Icarus Lobell between horses in deep stretch to upset No Nukes in the Battle of the Brandywine, also in the early 1970s. Even earlier, Su Mac Lad, driven by Stanley Dancer, came from behind to beat Speedy Scot and Speedy Count in an all-star FFA trot. The event was the first of the year and last race for previous season Three-Year-Old of the Year, Ayres, who then was retired to a Hanover Shoe Farm stallion. Eddie Davis came into prominence in the early 1970 after Filion moved to New York. Davis became the all-time winningest driver at Delaware Valley tracks. At the time of its closing after the 1989 campaign, Brandywine had the most 2:00 miles at a 5-8th mile racetrack. The track was an innovator of a number of special events for fans created by PR Director, Col. Dave Herman. "Christmas In July" drew its largest crowd of around 25,000 in the late 1960s. Bret Hanover attempting a world record bringing nearly 20,000 fans. For several seasons, a well-supported event featuring several races between 'The Dancers and Filions,' a Father and Son rivalry competition, Camel and Ostrich races, and big band and top singers were other promotions. Brandywine was the first major track to race Sunday cards. It was also one of first to add exacta and trifecta wagering and was one of the first to offer Free Admission. Electronic Race Patrol provided the finest CCTV and sound ever in the sport. It was first to offer split screen and color TV to fans. Between races, Brandywine featured a great number of interviews and vignettes to informer its patrons. Its popular dining room featured a rising window that opened when the temperature permitted. The track also boasted the best Horsemen's Kitchen. Just ask anyone who was stabled there. Many of the top sports and entertainment world figures came to the track. Pete Rose, Julius Erving, Muhammad Ali, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB players were often seen in presentations at the track. Brandywine was considered as the nicest, best kept, best managed racetrack imaginable. The racetrack surrounded two tall water towers located in a centerfield lake. Fans would be treated to glorious sunsets as the races began during the Summer months. Across a parking lot, the racing office, the 'White House' publicity office where hospitality was on after the races nightly, fronted the Horsemen's Kitchen and Snack Bar. Superintendent Bill Davis designed a remarkable setup for its horse barns which allowing air flow for horse. Brandywine also featured modern Grooms Quarters accommodations caretakers with a cushioned bed and air conditioning. Even today, horsemen and fans continue to remember the 'gone but not forgotten' great days of Brandywine Raceway.   by Marv Bachrad

Some of harness racing best 3-year-old pacers and trotters on the globe competed in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Finals on Sunday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of $252,000.   In the male trotting final, John Butenschoen trainee Dover Dan (Tim Tetrick) erupted off cover in the final eighth of a mile to win under confident Tim Tetrick handling in 1:53.3. The son of Andover Hall sat patient as stable mate Giveitgasandgo (Corey Callahan) and Muscles Jared (Chris Lems) exchanged leads. Wagering favorite Sortie (Dave Miller) was put into play past the half, and pressed the leader beyond three-quarters. She broke in the stretch. After fractions of :27.2, :56, and 1:24.2, Winner Dover Dan reeled in the speed to go on to a decisive 3 length win. "I had never driven him before, but I've raced a lot against him and followed him," said Tetrick. "We got him in good position and he was rolling on the far turn - I don't think it mattered much when the last horse (Sortie, the last of three breakers which included the two favorites) broke. He was trotting good and strong, and the time (1:53.3) is a good one." "We repeated (having won the 2TC last year with Giveitgasandgo), but you can't say this wasn't the right one or that it was an upset, " Trainer John Butenschoen explained. "This colt had had a lot of bad luck, with post positions and trips and the like; it went his way today." Dover Dan is owned by Bill Wiswell, Jean Goehlen, and Eugene Schick.   Dover Dan     The female trotting division was also won by driver Tim Tetrick, this time behind Jimmy Takter trainee That's All Moni. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Mom's Millionaire worked out a perfect second-over trip behind race-favorite Fine Tuned Lady (Corey Callahan) to score in 1:53.3, just one-fifth of a second off the track record. Cool Cates finished second, while Fine Tuned Lady was third. "She was good early, then she was sick and had a subpar race", Trainer Jimmy Takter explained. "On Hambletonian Oaks elimination week, she had a temperature of 104 (she was scratched), and it took almost a week to get her back to normal. After the sickness, she needed the race last time, and today she showed that she was a good filly." That's All Moni is owned by Brittany Farms,Marvin Katz, and Al Libfeld.   That's All Moni     It was upset time in the female pacing finals, as Caviart Ally (Andy McCarthy) was unrelenting on the front end en-route to a 3 length victory in 1:50.2, just one-fifth of a second off of a track record. The big favorite Agent Q (Dave Miller) settled into a hole early, but came up empty as she edged to the outside with 5/8ths to go. "She's been good for the last few months now," said Driver Andy McCarthy. "She's been a little bit under the radar. But she was very strong today. It was first-time Lasix for her, as well. The challengers came, but she still stayed strong." It was McCarthy's first PASS win. Caviart Ally is by Bettor's Delight.   Caviart Ally       Another upset ensued in the male pacing finals as Boogie Shuffle (Scott Zeron) used the pocket-trip to win in a track record (3-year-old geldings) 1:48.2 performance. The time also equaled the fastest mile ever in PASS competition set by Wakizashi Hanover in 2015. The gelded son of Well Said-Ciela Hanover drafted behind the deliberate speed of Filibuster Hanover (Matt Kakaley) before taking aim at the 1/8th poll, finishing 1/2 of a length better. "He was a good 2YO, and he came back well early at three, but then he started to go bad miles - in the Hempt Final, I was getting a good trip, and then all of a sudden he was close to the judges list (for time)", explained Driver Scott Zeron. "When he had a few more races, (trainer) Mark (Harder) didn't know what to do. He got his vet to do a deep stomach scan, and they found he had deep ulcers in his stomach. Normally with ulcers a horse is sluggish and doesn't eat, but this horse was acting fine. He just didn't have any lick at the end of his miles with his problem. After they treated him, he's come back strong - and it's a good time, with the Jug coming up." Earlier in the day, probable race-favorite Fear The Dragon scratched sick, opening the door for chief rival Huntsville to take the lions share. After tucking, Huntsville attempted to grind first-over, but labored the final quarter of a mile to finish a well-beaten third. Boogie Shuffle is owned by Fox Hollow Farms.   Boogie Shuffle       There were also four consolation races, each going for a purse of $50,000. Q's Cruise was sent away from the gate strongly, reached the lead before the 26.2 opening pole, then put up middle splits of 55.4 and 1:23.2 en route to a 1 3/4-length victory over Candell in 1:51 in the $50,000 PaSS consolation for three-year-old colt pacers. The Yankee Cruiser gelding was not quite ready for the big cats in the early Sires events, but a third in the last Sires prelim two weeks ago showed him to be a force to be reckoned with as he won here for driver Tim Tetrick and trainer/owner Jim King Jr. (the same driver/trainer team who had won this same division in the Stallion Series Championships yesterday at The Meadows with Donttellmeagain). Leet Hanover made a second move to command early in the backstretch in the $50,000 sophomore trotting fillies consolation in the PaSS, then held off a late cavalry charge to by a half-length in a new mark of 1:55.1. Hot Mess Hanover came from last to be second, photoing out another late charger, Crann Tara. The victorious Cantab Hall filly now has two-thirds of her lifetime victories in her last two outings for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt, whose Ake Svanstedt Inc. is co-owner with Little E LLC and Mal&Janet Burroughs. The Bettor's Delight filly Bettor's Up quarter-moved from third, then sprinted home in 55 to finish off a 1:52.1 victory in the three-year-old pacing fillies PaSS competition, three lengths to the good of Way Bettor. There or thereabouts in many of the Grand Circuit stakes but winless since taking the Fan Hanover final at Mohawk in mid-June, Bettor's Up recaptured her winning ways here while raising her bankroll to $467,966 for driver Brett Miller, trainer Scott Mceneny, and owners Bradley Grant, Teresa Davidson, and Michelle Mceneny. Shake It Off Lindy yielded to favored Two AM off the first turn and enjoyed the pocket trip behind him, then moved to the inside under driver Scott Zeron's direction and ran down the leader in a 56.1 back half to win the sophomore colt trot PaSS consolation event in 1:54.1. The victorious son of Crazed took a new mark with the ¾-length victory and raised his bankroll to $151,542 for trainer Frank Antonacci and K R Breeding LLC, whose colt has now won two in a row.  

Brian Brown's stable is home to three of the top 10 horses in the weekly Hambletonian Society/Breeders Crown poll, which is a feat the harness racing trainer never considered likely. "It's not something you ever think is going to happen, that you're going to have that many in a year," Brown said. "It's something I've never experienced, so I don't really know how to take it. But it's a good thing to have." Brown's top-rated star, No.1-ranked Fear The Dragon, headlines the lineup for Sunday's four $252,000 Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 3-year-old pacers and trotters at Harrah's Philadelphia. Fear The Dragon has won 10 of 12 races this year and earned $1.03 million. He finished second in both his losses. The colt, owned by Emerald Highlands Farm, enters the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old male pacers off a win Aug. 18 at The Meadows in the final of four preliminary rounds of the series. He competed in all four rounds, winning each of his divisions. In addition, Fear The Dragon's wins this season include the North America Cup, Hempt Memorial, and Adios. He finished second to stablemate Downbytheseaside (ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 and the 9-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's $500,000 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers) in the Milstein Memorial. Four of Fear The Dragon's victories have come in races with Huntsville, last year's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes champion and the Dan Patch Award winner for best 2-year-old male pacer. The Ray Schnittker-trained Huntsville, who this year has won seven of 11 races and finished worse than second only once, is ranked third in the Top 10. "I'm surprised (Fear The Dragon) has beaten them as much as he has, but this horse was a nice horse last year," Brown said about his colt, who won five of 11 races last season and hit the board a total of 10 times. "He got an eye infection (in late September) and he wasn't as good down in Lexington. It was his last races, so we quit at the right time." Fear The Dragon and regular driver David Miller will start the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship from post seven in the eight-horse field. Huntsville and regular driver Tim Tetrick will leave from post six. Fear The Dragon is the 8-5 favorite on the morning line; Huntsville is 2-1. "I'd like to have had a better draw, but it is what it is," said Brown, who saw Fear The Dragon finish third in last year's championship. "We may not get a pretty good trip here; it depends on what Huntsville does. It will be David and Dragon's job to figure that out. That's worked out OK so far." Huntsville is one of the four returning champions who will be in action Sunday, along with male trotter Giveitgasandgo, female trotter Fine Tuned Lady, and female pacer Agent Q. Agent Q, trained by Aaron Lambert and driven by Miller, brings a five-race win streak to the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championship for 3-year-old filly pacers. She has won seven of 10 races this year, finished worse than second only once, and is ranked No. 9 in the sport's Top 10. Her victories include the Lynch Memorial and Mistletoe Shalee and she was undefeated in three preliminary rounds of the sire stakes series. She is the 8-5 favorite in her division, with Idyllic Beach second choice at 9-5. Fine Tuned Lady and Giveitgasandgo both come from the stable of trainer John Butenschoen. Corey Callahan will drive both horses as they attempt to defend their titles. Fine Tuned Lady is the 5-2 favorite in her final while Giveitgasandgo is the 3-1 second choice behind Muscles Jared at 5-2. First race post time is 12:40 p.m., with the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships carded as races 9-12. For the Sunday's complete entries at Harrah's Philadelphia, click here. The four Pennsylvania Sire Stakes championships for 2-year-old pacers and trotters are Monday at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Ken Weingartner

Chester, PA - Harrah's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association (PHHA), are hosting the final of three special Summer Series reunion nights on Friday, September 8 with the Brandywine Raceway Reunion Night. Post time for the special evening program is 6:30 pm. "Our first two Summer Series Reunion nights for Liberty Bell Park and Garden State Park were really well attended," said Barry Brown, Director of Racing Operations at Harrah's Philadelphia. "But I believe the Brandywine Raceway Reunion Night will be the best of all. The track was only a few miles away from Harrah's Philadelphia and we are giving the first 400 fans who purchase a Harrah's program that night a free Summer Series commemorative t-shirt." Brandywine Raceway first opened in 1953 and raced through 1989. During its 36 years the track featured harness racing's greatest horses and horsemen. The property is now the site of Brandywine Hunt luxury homes and the Brandywine Corporate Center offices. Race fans are urged to search around their storage areas and bring any memorabilia from Brandywine Raceway to the track. Everyone that brings in a piece of Brandywine Raceway memorabilia, a race program, admission passes, giveaway items, win circle photos, etc., will receive a gift from Harrah's Philadelphia. Memorabilia items will be judged and those people bringing the top items will receive $300 in betting vouchers as prizes. A special guest appearance will be made by WIP Radio Sports legend, Jody McDonald, who will be at the track to meet fans. There will be a souvenir eight-page insert of Brandywine Raceway photos in the race program, plus live harness racing, live music during the evening, food and drinks, free mechanical bull rides and other games on the outdoor patio. "We encourage everyone who raced, went to or remembers Brandywine Raceway to come on out," Said Brown. "We hope to see lots of race fans, former employees and horsemen and women from the Brandywine Raceway days of old enjoying a great reunion night. We already know that there will be many surprise guests that will be in attendance." For more information, visit or contact Harrah's Philadelphia at www.caesars.com/harrahs-philly. By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia    

There were three divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for harness racing 2-year-old filly pacers contested at Harrah's Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon (Aug.24), each going for a purse of just over $52,000.   In the first division, it was Ron Burke trainee Double A Mint (Yannick Gingras) completing a long-uncovered grind for the win. The daughter of Bettor's Delight-Double Creme was put into play just after the half, moving up to challenge leader Scuola Hanover (Dave Miller) with 3/8ths to go. It was a thrilling finish, with Double A Mint ($6.20) getting up in time over longshot pocket-sitter Yankee Will Dance (Brett Miller), while Apple Hanover (Tim Tetrick) finished third. The final time was 1:53.2. It was her third career win in five starts. The freshman filly is owned by Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Dandy Farms, and Silva, Purnel & Libby.   In division two, trainer Ron Burke did it again with Strong Opinion (Matt Kakaley). The daughter of Well Said-Rough Sketch got to the top before yielding to eventual second place finisher Alexa's Power (Scott Zeron). After patiently drafting, Strong Opinion took aim at the leader at the 1/8th poll, winning a thrilling stretch drive in 1:53.3. Sarpa Hanover (Andy McCarthy) finished third. Strong Opinion ($3.60) is owned by Burke Racing, Jack Piatt II, Silva, Purnel & Libby, and Weaver Bruscemi.   The third and final division was the fastest of the afternoon, as the highly touted Rainbow Room (Dave Miller) had to dig in late to win. The daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Rainbow Blue brushed powerfully shy of the half, and held off 4-5 co-favorite Come See The Show (Tim Tetrick) by a nose to win in 1:51.2. Majorsspeciallady (Matt Kakaley) finished third. It was the fourth career win in five starts for the talented filly, who is owned by Crawford Farms Racing, Val D'Or Farms, and Ted Gewertz. She is trained by Joe Holloway.   Michael Bozich  

CHESTER, PA - From tables and tables loaded with memorabilia to eight Hall of Fame inductees in the crowd, it was a fitting evening of "catching-up" and remembering the "old times" at Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. Hosted by Harrah's Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association as part of their Summer Series of Racing and Remembering, hundreds of race fans came out to the track and were treated to an evening of live harness racing, live music, mechanical bull rides, outdoor BBQ and terrific memorabilia show and contest with hundreds of pieces on display. "I enjoyed reconnecting with people from Garden State that I had not seen in some time," said Hall of Famer John Campbell, now President and CEO of the Hambletonian Society. "I particularly enjoyed the memorabilia and the race replays that were running on the big TV. It brought back great memories of all the tremendous horses and top-notch races that Garden State hosted over the years." Campbell was one of eight inductees of the Harness Racing Hall of Fame that were in attendance, meeting fans, employees and horsemen and women that all worked, raced or wagered on the harness meets at Garden State Park. Other Hall of Famers in attendance included Cat Manzi, Ron Gurfein, Marvin Bachrad, Leon Zimmerman, Moira Fanning, Jerry Connors and Steve Wolf. Missing from the lineup was another Hall of Famer, Robert "Bob" Quigley, the former President of Garden State Park, who could not make the trip from Florida due to hip replacement surgery. "If not for my surgery," Quigley said. "I would have been at Harrah's for the Garden State Park Reunion Night. I send my deepest regards and well-wishes to everyone who made it out. So many great people, employees and horsemen and women I would love to have seen again. I hope everyone had a great time." Conducting interviews throughout the night was Steve Ross, the former advertising and promotions manager. Other guests were Jay Farrar, who headed simulcasting at the track, race office official Al Kraszewski, publicist Gen Sullivan, former driver Jimmy Larente, Jr., track photographer John Pantalone of World Wide Racing Photos and other horsemen and women, plus numerous former employees including pari-mutuel tellers (some who were still working right at Harrah's Philadelphia), admissions personnel and more. Perhaps the "hit guest" of the evening was none other than former track announcer, Larry Lederman, who called the sixth race on the card, which was the Bill Fidati Memorial, a tribute to the former head of publicity at Garden State Park. "We are really pleased with our Summer Series of Racing and Remembering," said Barry Brown, Director of Racing at Harrah's Philadelphia. "Last month's Liberty Bell Park Reunion Night was great and tonight's Garden State Park Reunion was even stronger with much more memorabilia than expected. It was great that we had to add more tables for the show and contest. Philadelphia's sports radio icon, WIP's Jody McDonald, an avid racing fan, was the judge for the Memorabilia Contest. The top prize, a $150 wagering voucher, was awarded to Dennis Sanford, a big harness racing fan from Woodlynne, NJ for his collection of every collector's glass giveaway, both Harness and Thoroughbred, from Garden State Park. Second prize of a $100 voucher went to former employee Connie Scerati of Mt Laurel, NJ for collection of GSP uniforms and pins, many of which she wore and, of course, saved over the years. Third place with a $50 voucher went to Al Kraszewski, who is currently the assistant race secretary at Ocean Downs in Maryland, for his autographed win photo of the great Secretariat, who won at Garden State Park as a two-year-old. Next month the Summer Series of Racing and Remembering concludes on Friday evening, September 8 with the Brandywine Raceway Reunion Night starting at 6:30 pm. In addition to the memorabilia show and contest, live racing and other activities, the first 400 fans to purchase a Harrah's Philadelphia race program, will get a free Summer Series commemorative t-shirt. "I know we will be needing more tables for the memorabilia show for this night," said Barry Brown. "We really look forward to this final Friday night of live racing as Brandywine Raceway was such a fixture here in the Delaware Valley and the track was located just down the road from Harrah's Philadelphia." By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia & the PHHA        

There were 3 divisions of Pennsylvania Sire Stakes races for the harness racing 2-year-old filly trotters on Thursday, August 10 at Harrah's Philadelphia, each going for a purse of roughly $54,000. In the first division, it was S M S Princess (Ake Svanstedt) picking up her first career win. The daughter of Cantab Hall-Won an Done was given a ground-saving steer the majority of the mile, as Julie Miller trainee Strawberry Hanover set a deliberate tempo (:28.4 / :56.2 / 1:25). S M S Hanover angled out after clearing past the three-quarter poll to split rivals for the win. Megadolce (Dave Miller) closed well for second, while Strawberry Hanover (Andy Miller) was third. S M S Princess is owned by Trainer Ake Svanstedt and Stall Musse Inc. She paid $8.40 to win In the second division, Nifty Norman trainee Live Love Laugh (Dave Miller) completed a long, persistent grind to break her maiden. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Shes Gone Again engaged leader (and favorite) Follow Streak (Andy Miller) at the 5/8ths marker, clearing just over 1/8th of a mile remaining. Live Laugh Love held off a rallying Bill's Lady (Tim Tetrick) to win by a length in 1:55. Follow Streak held third. Live Laugh Love ($18.00) is owned by Melvin Hartman, Dave Mc Duffee, and Diamond Creek Racing. The third division saw Chris Beaver trainee Zoe Bi (George Napolitano Jr.) use the passing lane to her advantage. The daughter of Donato Hanover-Octavia Bi drafted in behind the speed of the favorite Seviyorum (Andy Miller) to pick up the victory in 1:56. It was a lifetime mark in her fourth career victory in five starts. Zoe Bi out closed the Jimmy Takter driven Basquiat in the final strides, while Hey Blondie (Andy McCarthy) rallied for third. Zoe Bi ($12.20) is owned by Marion Beachy, Synerco Ventures Inc., and Chris Beaver. Driver George Napolitano Jr. had four wins on the afternoon. Michael Bozich    

On Friday, August 11, Harrah's Philadelphia will host, along with the Pennsylvania Harness Horseman's Association (PHHA), the third Summer Series Friday night harness racing card of the season. The theme of the evening will be the Garden State Park Reunion Night with the festivities getting started at 6:00 pm. One of the special highlights of the night will be the 6th race $17,500 pace, The Bill Fidati Memorial. William C. "Bill" Fidati, was the publicity director at Garden State Park and was loved by everyone who ever worked with or for him or was able to be friends with him. He passed away at age 76 in 2011. Before coming to Garden State Park, he worked for two decades for two of the top newspapers in Philadelphia, the Daily News and then the Bulletin. He covered City Hall and in 1970 won the area's Press Association award for his stories. Bill also covered horse racing, both Thoroughbred and Standardbred and became the publicity director of Philadelphia Park in 1982 and then moved across the Delaware River to work at the new Garden State Park four years later. Everyone who was associated, worked for or raced at Garden State Park is invited to Harrah's Philadelphia Friday evening. Special guests in attendance will be Hall of Famers John Campbell and Catello "Cat" Manzi along with former track announcer Larry Lederman and other co-workers and horse people that competed at the track. Patrons are urged to bring in any memorabilia from Garden State Park, win photos, giveaway items, etc. and they will receive a gift from Harrah's Philadelphia. The memorabilia will then be put on display for all to see and there will be $300 in betting vouchers given away to the top three items. Judging the memorabilia contest will be WIP Sports Radio legend, Jody McDonald. After each live race on the program there will be a replay of one of the great races held at Garden State Park and former advertising and promotions manager, Steve Ross, will be interviewing the special guests in the winner's circle. There will also be live music, free mechanical bull rides along with an outdoor BBQ and more, all taking place on the outdoor grandstand patio. The race program will feature a special eight-page insert of photo memories of Garden State Park. Garden State Park was located on Route 70 and Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill, NJ. It opened on July 7, 1942 as a Thoroughbred track until a disastrous fire burned the Clubhouse and Grandstand on April 14, 1977. Garden State Park no longer held races until securities trader Robert Brennan financed construction of a new $178 million steel and glass grandstand/clubhouse which opened on April 1, 1985. The track held both Thoroughbred and Standardbred races until it closed in 2001. For more information, visit or contact Harrah's Philadelphia at www.caesars.com/harrahs-philly. By Steve Wolf, for Harrah's Philadelphia    

JOHN CAMPBELL & CAT MANZI TO ATTEND

The temperatures were sizzling and so was the harness racing action on the racetrack this past week at Harrah's Philadelphia, where two track records fell in two straight days.   On Thursday (July 20), Julie Miller trainee Opulent Yankee (Andy Miller) set a track record for older gelding trotters, scorching the surface in 1:51.4. The husband and wife team repeated the feat on Friday afternoon (July 21) in a Pennsylvania Sire Stakes event for 2-year-old male trotters. Met's Hall, who was a purchase for $132,000 at the Standardbred Horse Sale, stopped the clock in 1:55.1, defeating the previous record of 1:55.2 set a year prior by Don Dream.   The undefeated 2-year-old by Cantab Hall-Met's Inn is owned by Stroy Inc. and the Andy Miller Racing Stable. His family includes 2009 Horse of the Year Muscle Hill. The Miller dominance continued Friday as Toast Of Lindy picked up a win in PASS action for owners Andy Miller Stables, Lindy Racing, and Gaitway Stables. The trotting son of Cantab Hall-Bellini Lindy gamely held off the Jimmy Takter charge Storming Mist in a time of 1:56.1.   In other Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action on Friday afternoon, Final Dream, a $45,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, won in 1:55.3 for owners Joe Sbrocco, Lars Berg, and Trainer/Driver Ake Svanstedt. The 2-year-old trotting son of Cantab Hall-Oh Sweet Baby came up the passing lane to nip the favorite Maxus (Yannick Gingras) in the final strides.   Anthony MacDonald of the Stable.CA was excited when he saw a horse by the name of Lawmaker was up for sale. "Not many people know this, but this horse's brother, Programmer, was one of our best two-year-olds early this year. He was later sold, left thestable, and hasn't surfaced so far in 2016" MacDonald said on The Stable's website. "So we were interested when Programmer's brother Lawmaker, a big, strong, Muscle Massive trotting colt showed up in the Lexington sale catalogue. Needless to say, Lawmaker has all the tools - breeding, looks and movement - to become a good horse. Now the rest is up to him", MacDonald continued. Fast forward, the 2-year-old trotting son of Muscle Massive-Pretty Amigo has strung together two straight wins in Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action, including the victory on Friday afternoon in 1:57.2. Lawmaker now has career earnings of just under $50,000 including two wins in just three starts.   Also on the Friday afternoon card, Carribean Rose N sprung a major upset in overnight competition, a non-winners of $15,000 in the last 5 for filly and mare pacers. The 8-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight flew to the top from post 7, yielding the lead to American Filly beyond the quarter. The Darran Cassar trainee was able to angle out at three quarters after a brief shuffle, to draw off to win in 1:51.2 for driver Andy McCarthy and her owners, the Windermere Stables of New York. He rewarded her backers with a $59.00 mutuel.   Harrah's Philadelphia races live every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday with a first post of 12:40 PM Eastern.     Michael Bozich

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