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The favorites thrived in the $9,000 harness racing co-features for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky) brought a five-race win streak into his Wednesday try from the rail and was the public's 4-5 betting favorite. The Chip Zombick Jr. trainee had a big summer while competing mostly in the Excelsior B division of the NY Sire Stakes and proved worthy in the $9,000 level at the Spa as he won in 1:57.2 last week with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. On Wednesday, Lucky June Bug was once again on the front-end and felt very little pressure in the early going. The three year old had longshot Royal Lady (Mark Beckwith) sitting on his back throughout the mile. That 30-1 outsider took her shot at the favorite in the stretch but had to settle for second-best as Lucky June Bug stopped the timer in 1:57.4 for his sixth victory in a row and ninth in fifteen starts in 2019. Though Lucky June Bug was the race's odds-on favorite, the exacta with Royal Lady second paid $78.50. The other $9,000 division of the co-features went the way of another odds-on favorite. Alek Chartrand's Halliama (Conway Hall) drew the rail as he sought his third consecutive win. Content to sit the pocket, Halliama blasted by his race's front-runner in the final furlong before trotting away to score in 1:58.1. The sophomore trotter is now five for eleven in the '19 campaign leading up to a try in this Saturday night's Excelsior A Final when he will go for a purse of $55,000. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a first post time set for 12 Noon. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

Vernon Downs invader Southwind Falcon (Conway Hall) has made his presence felt at Saratoga Casino Hotel over the last few weeks and on Wednesday afternoon, the three year old harness racing trotter prevailed for the third consecutive start. Ron Harp trains and drives Southwind Falcon who took a big jump up in company into Wednesday's $9,000 co-feature for New York sired trotters. A strong closer, Southwind Falcon once again came from well off the pace as he made a backstretch blitz heading to three-quarters before circling the field to prevail in 1:58.1. Southwind Falcon's seventh victory of the year came in mild upset fashion as he paid $10.20 to win. The other co-features were won by Okay (Conway Hall), who upset at odds of 11-1 for trainer-driver Claude Huckabone Jr., and Lucky June Bug (Lucky Chucky), who made good as his race's odds-on favorite to extend his win streak to five. Frank Coppola Jr. piloted the Chip Zombick Jr- trained three year old to his Wednesday score which was the fastest among the co-feature winners as he romped in 1:57.2. Live racing continues on Thursday afternoon at Saratoga with a 12 Noon first post. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

New York Sire Stakes were featured on Saturday night at Saratoga Casino Hotel as three year old colt and gelding trotters took center stage. There were two harness racing divisions for sophomore trotters that each went for a purse of $90,050. Drawing the outside post is usually a big time hazard but on Saturday night, both Sire Stakes winners drew post eight for their tries going for the big bucks. Erv Miller's Livinonthedash (Muscle Mass-Sunshine Glide-Master Glide) had one rival scratched so he ultimately started from post seven. The talented trotter came from well off the pace to win his previous start at Yonkers and got away last in his Saratoga debut on Saturday. Patient Marcus Miller piloting paid off and the super-sophomore came charging hard in the stretch to complete his last-to-first move, stopping the timer in 1:55.4 to be the fastest of the stakes winners on the card. Livinonthedash's victory was his eighth in thirteen starts in 2019 and boosted his seasonal earnings to over the $170,000 mark. Winnerup (Trond Smedshammer) was a strong second to Livinonthedash while longshot Travel Winner (Jay Randall) earned the show spot. Livinonthedash paid $6.80 to win as he overcame his outside post to prevail for the third time in his last four NYSS starts. The other division saw Lucky Weekend (Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation-Conway Hall) draw post eight. Unlike Livinonthedash, Lucky Weekend did not have the benefit of a scratch in his race but did utilize his early speed to surge out to the lead with reinsman Jimmy Devaux in the sulky. The Christopher Lakata trainee had hit the board in his three previous starts in the NYSS but had yet to win a stakes race heading into Saturday's try from post eight. After setting a sensible pace on the engine, Lucky Weekend was confronted by rival Powerscourt (Mickey McGivern) who headed the leader around the final turn and battled him every step of the way in the stretch. Lucky Weekend proved too tough and dug in to win in 1:57.2. Powerscourt was a strong second while Captain Krupnik (Jay Randall) finished third. Lucky Weekend paid $13.80 to win in the mild upset. Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at Saratoga with a 7:05pm first post. The evening will have a $998 carryover to the Pick Five pool with that wager beginning in the first race. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

YONKERS, N.Y. – Although harness racing driver / trainer Trond Smedshammer has always felt trotter Perlcuky possessed talent, the Lucky Chucky son developed a knack for making mistakes at unfortunate times. He jumped offstride in his career debut as a 2-year-old and after earning a spot in the New York Sire Stakes Final, made a break in the $225,000 championship. Perlucky also galloped in the Dexter Cup Final and the NYSS Final again as a 3-year-old.  “There are easier horses to drive,” said Smedshammer, who’s been in the bike for 28 of Perlucky’s 34 races and qualifiers. “He can get a little aggressive at times and can get a little bumpy on the turns. He usually doesn’t make a mistake, but he’s not the easiest one to drive. Right now, we seem to have him rigged and set up in a way that is a little bit better, but at times, he can be tough to sit in a hole with and follow horses. That’s why I’ve driven him myself most of the time.” Despite his mistakes, the $15,000 Harrisburg buy still earned $178,519 at 2 and 3 and now at 4, has started to put all it all together. Perlucky began his 2019 campaign with five wins in his first eight starts as he climbed the class ladder at Yonkers, winning out of the non-winners of 4, 6, and 8 conditions.  Perlucky’s biggest win this year came against older horses at the non-winners of $30,000 last five level April 13. Smedshammer gave up the lines in favor of George Brennan in that start, and Brennan sent the gelding straight to the top. Perlucky opened a 4-length advantage past the three-quarters and maintained his lead in the stretch to win in a career-best 1:54.4. “That’s the first time he’s really been let go,” Smedshammer said. “In the beginning, he had a few miles on the front end. Most of the times after that, I’ve been sitting back and racing the last half. He’s pretty strong, he can carry his speed a long way, so I wasn’t surprised. He won in 56-and-one as a 3-year-old and now this year, he’s a better horse. He can definitely go better now under the right circumstances. “He showed talent both as a 2- and 3-year-old, but he wasn’t as fast as he is now” Smedshammer continued. “Another year, he’s just more mature. Mostly physically. He got bigger and stronger.” Although Brennan’s aggressive tactics paid off, Smedshammer cautioned that it’s all or nothing when sending Perlucky off the gate.   “If you fire him up leaving, you have to be prepared to go to the front,” he explained. “If you fire him up leaving, you’re not going to be able to sit in a hole with him, you’re not going to be able to let someone retake. That’s not his style. He’s not going to like that. Either you take him off the gate, or if you leave hard, you have to be prepared to go to the front.” Off an impressive runner-up finish to Melady’s Monet in the same class last out April 20, Perlucky boosted his career tally to $272,349 and earned a spot in the $44,000 Open Handicap Trot Saturday, May 4. Paired with Brennan again, the duo will start from post four.  The field includes Smalltownthrowdown, who will start from post five and looks to improve off a sixth-place finish last out when handicapped by post eight, and Eye Ofa Tiger As, who won last week’s trotting feature. New Heaven, a winner of two Open Handicaps in March and the third-place finisher last week, drew post six while SOA Bonus Trotting Series runner-up Swansea drew post eight. Lord Cromwell, Fearless Man, and Mostinterestingman complete the lineup. “It’s a decent spot. It’s not the toughest Open. A lot of times, the non-winners of $30,000 is tough. His last start, he faced one of the best Open horses there all winter, Melady’s Monet. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter too much. It’s not a huge difference between those classes,” Smedshammer opined. “I think he’s in a decent spot. He’s been training good this week. I think George is going to have a good run with him. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but he’s going to show a good race.” Saturday night’s card also features a $44,000 Open Handicap Pace. First post time is 7:15 p.m. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Chris Lakata hopes it's best to be "Lucky" this weekend at The Meadowlands. Lucky Weekend, trained by Lakata, starts from post eight with driver Vincent Ginsburg in Saturday's $221,540 Kindergarten Classic Series championship for 2-year-old male harness racing trotters at the Big M. The gelding, purchased last month by Richard Mishkin for $45,000 at the inaugural Lexington Selected Mixed Sale, has won five of nine races and is among the season's 10 fastest 2-year-old male trotters, with a mark of 1:54.2. He went off stride in his first start for his new connections on Oct. 12, but rebounded with a Kindergarten win a week later. He was scratched last week because of sickness. "There are a lot of horses that are sick now; it seems to be going around," Lakata said about Lucky Weekend, a son of Lucky Chucky-Weekend Vacation who was trained previously by Chuck Sylvester. "He seems to be better now. "He seems like a nice solid horse. He's got a great attitude and is a very happy horse. I really like everything about him. He was already on his way to looking good before we got him. He made a break the first week we raced him so we changed a couple things and he was really good his last start." The Meadowlands hosts four Kindergarten championships on Saturday. In addition to the final for 2-year-old male trotters there is the $236,060 final for 2-year-old female trotters, $173,800 final for 2-year-old male pacers, and $148,700 final for 2-year-old female pacers. Post time is 7:15 p.m. (EDT) for the program's first race. Lakata, a former longtime assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Ron Gurfein, is in his fourth year operating his own stable. His barn at Joie De Vie Farm in New Jersey typically numbers five to 10 horses. Lucky Weekend's appearance in the Kindergarten championship is Lakata's first trip to a Grand Circuit final with his own stable. "Some weeks are great, and some are not so great," said a laughing Lakata, who grew up near Saratoga and began working with horses there after graduating from high school. "Sometimes you think you're a genius, and other times you look in the mirror and ask yourself if you know what you're doing. I've been doing it all my life, so I'm used to it. "I don't think I could work indoors in an office. As soon as I started (with the horses) I liked it. You're around all kind of people and they all blend together. It's a lot of fun." Lucky Weekend faces a field that includes 4-for-4 Seven Hills, trained by John Butenschoen, and Divine Spirit, trained by Brett Pelling. The horses, which were tied atop the Kindergarten standings, both enter the final off back-to-back wins in the series. This will be Lucky Weekend's final start of the year. "I think (Lucky Weekend) is as good as the others in there," Lakata said. "We'll find out. I hope he's as good this week as he was in his last start. He should be OK." For Saturday's complete entries, click here. For the Kindergarten standings, click here. by Ken Weingartner, for the USTA  

Precocious Lady (Lucky Chucky) got her career off to a strong start as a freshman in 2017. The Margaret Spagnola trainee raced seven times as a two year old, recording three wins and hitting the board in six of the seven starts. The sophomore season hasn't been as smooth though for Precocious Lady who got off to a slow beginning to her '18 campaign. The three year old has been much improved recently and came into Thursday's $8,500 event for New York sired trotters at Saratoga Casino Hotel with a win and three third place finishes in her last five starts. Drawing the rail on Thursday, Precocious Lady had leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky who perhaps used a bit of caution in the early going as the filly was coming off of a break. After getting away third from the rail, Precocious Lady swung first-over and powered past the leader before drawing off to a resounding six-plus length victory on a chilly autumn afternoon in upstate New York. Precocious Lady's win, which came in 2:01.3, was the second of the day for her owners and trainer as Jim Corona and John Shufon teamed up with Margaret Spagnola earlier in the card for a win with veteran trotter Quick Feet (Crazed). Quick Feet cruised to a four and a half length win on Thursday as he scored for the second time in just five days. Both of his victories this week came with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Corona and Shufon have been long time partners in the horse business enjoying perhaps their greatest success with Mr. One Eyed Jack who was named Saratoga's Pacer of the Year back in 2004 while a member of the Spagnola stable. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a 6:45pm first post featuring a pick five carryover of $1,673. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

There were two divisions of $10,700 trotting events for New York-sired trotters featured on Thursday's harness racing card at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Jackie Greene's Weekend Wit Bigd (Lucky Chucky) was looking to repeat on Thursday and was the public's 7-5 top choice as she drew post position two with Frank Coppola Jr. sitting behind. Weekend Wit Bigd thrived for the second consecutive Thursday afternoon as she went coast-to-coast for her fifth victory of the season. The sophomore filly stopped the timer in 1:59.2, holding off major danger and pocket-sitter Miss Muscle (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second just one start after finishing fourth in the $55,000 Excelsior Final at Saratoga almost two weeks ago. The other division of the co-features saw filly Youcouldbethatgirl (Credit Winner) go coast-to-coast with leading driver Billy Dobson in the sulky. Youcouldbethatgirl joined the Gary Levine just two weeks ago and prevailed in her first start for new connections, wiring the field in 1:59.1. Following a difficult journey in her last try, Youcouldbethatgirl returned to the front end on Thursday and returned to the winner's circle after stopping the timer in 1:59. Paying $13.00 to win, Youcouldbethatgirl held off the first over bid from rival Shortie Joe (John Stark Jr) who had to settle for second place for the second consecutive week. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

There were co-features on the Thursday card at Saratoga Casino Hotel for New York sired trotters and each of the three divisions went for a purse of $10,000. Time Is Fleeting (Lucky Chucky) was the fastest of the three winners and also paid the biggest price among the trio of co-features. Jimmy Devaux piloted Time Is Fleeting for trainer Dave Dewhurst and worked hard early in the mile to secure a pocket trip for the three year old who spent much of his summer competing in the Excelsior B division of the New York Sire Stakes. Time Is Fleeting surged in the passing lane as the race's favorite began to tire on the lead in the stretch and came on to win in 1:58.1, a new lifetime mark. Dismissed at odds of 7-1, Time Is Fleeting gave Dewhurst and Devaux their second winner on the matinee card as they teamed up earlier in the day for a victory with trotter Good Luck Ginny. The other co-features on the program were won by driver Frank Coppola Jr. who piloted Weekend Wit Bigd and Northeaster to front-running scores on Thursday. Both trotters stopped the timer in 1:59.3. Live racing continues on Friday evening at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway  

MEADVILLE, PA - The Pennsylvania fair circuit checked into the Crawford County Fair in the northwestern part of the state for two days of racing on Wednesday and Thursday. Each day there was a free-for all event honoring the late local legend Walter "Boots" Dunn in addition to the state Fair Sire Stakes. Boots's longtime friendly rival Roger Hammer swept the two divisions of the FFA pace, both in 2:02: with the Nuclear Breeze gelding R N Nate, a horse which he bred, owns, trains, and drove, and with Mcjaggersonthemove, who was claimed for $7000 by owner/trainer Ryan Shafer and has now three for five for his new connections. Both horses overcame the outside post six. The FFA trot was won by a Lucky Chucky horse with an even-better recent win ratio: Thanks For Playin came to town having won his last four starts at Ocean Downs, and he gave new owner-trainer-driver Lester Mullet a quick return with a 2:06 tally. In the Fair Sire Stakes, last year's terror Venier Hanover is quickly becoming this year's terror Venier Hanover, as the Well Said gelding, who set eight divisional track records at the fairs this year including the local freshman standard, strung together his fourth straight victory after a slow start to his campaign. He won in 2:01.2, fastest of the meet, over Cirrus De Vie, who has a 9-7-2-0 fair record, the two losses to Venier the last two times they have met. Here Dave Brickell got a 28.1 individual last quarter out of Venier Hanover to catch Cirrus De Vie by two lengths for trainer/driver Brickell, also co-owner with Mitchell York. Hammer's Cirrus De Vie may be feeling the wrath of the rejuvenated Venier, but the veteran horseman won the other section of the "A" colt pace in 2:02.2 with Marvalous Falcon, again in a breeder/owner/trainer/driver capacity. Almost as quick as Venier Hanover (just a tick behind in final time) was the Somebeachsomewhere sophomore sidewheeling filly Keystone Diamond, who has now won her last three fair outings for trainer/driver Todd Schadel, who shares ownership with Dr. John Egloff. On the trotting side, the fillies went faster than the colts among both the sophomores (Thursday) and freshmen (Wednesday). Swiftest was another Todd Schadel pupil, Critical Hanover, a daughter of Crazed who is owned by his wife Christine and his son Cody. Todd guided her to a 2:03.4 ¾-length victory over Blow Back (Hammer), and these two are marvels of consistency: Critical Hanover is now 8-5-3-0 at the fairs, Blow Back 9-5-4-0. Honors among the freshmen were won by the Muscle Massive - R T Sun Poco miss RT Gloria De Dios, now unbeaten in three fair starts with a 2:06.2 score for driver Kyle Bolon, trainer Bob Rougeaux III, and the Brocious Racing Stable Inc. (RT Sun Poco may have been the top performer in the last few years of the old Quaker State series.) The freshman pacing filly Crew Sock Hanover has now won five straight at the fairs after Well Said - Chantal Hall baby stepped home first in 2:03.1 for Team Venier Hanover, Dave Brickell and Mitchell York. Fastest of all the freshmen was yet another Todd Schadelite, the gelding Motive Hanover, also by Well Said and out of Maeve Hanover, who has now taken three straight after a 2:02.3 tour of the double oval for Todd and co-owner/son Cody. The Pennsylvania fair circuit again "splits" this coming week, with racing at Indiana on Monday and Tuesday and Wattsburg (Erie County) on Tuesday and Wednesday. From the Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen's Association

YONKERS, NY, Monday, August 6, 2018--The New York Sire Stakes roadshow changes its downstate cast of characters Tuesday night (Aug. 7th), with Yonkers Raceway's hosting the $166,499 Mike Cipriani Trot for 3-year-old fillies. The race(s) again honor the memory of the Raceway's long-time, award-winning photographer. Post time for the 12-race wagering card is the usual 6:50 PM, though the first ($54,833) of the sire stakes goes as the last of the four pre-program non-bettors (beginning at 5:30 PM). Tuesday's first (second programmed) event ($55,833) is the sixth race, including Lima Novelty (Scott Zeron, post 4) returning to the Empire. The daughter of Chapter Seven, owned by Ken Jacobs and trained by Linda Toscano, is 4-for-6 since adding the straps, all the wins in statebred competition. Overall, she's 4-for-9 this season ($97,394). Ciao Dolce (Ake Svandtedt, post 2) chased Lima Novelty around Vernon in her last try, part of a symmetrical (eight starts, two wins, two seconds, two thirds) seasonal worksheet. The second 'carded' division--third and final--of the Cipriani ($55,833) goes as the eighth race, with defending statebred champ Lucky Ava (Svanstedt) winning the draw among the half-dozen. The daughter of Lucky Chucky has offered up another solid season, as in four wins and three seconds in eight starts ($107,618). Svanstedt co-owns (with Little E LLC and Van Camp Trotting) and trains the lass, who's won half of her 18 career starts ($311,214). Tribute to Seven (Scott Zeron, post 2) is thrice a winner this season, hitting the board in all but one of her seven tries, while Dew to Win (Trond Smedshammer, post 5) blew away a sire stakes field at Monticello as part of her resume. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

HAMBURG, N.Y. --- It may be Father's Day on Sunday (June 17) but it is the ladies who will be front and center at Buffalo Raceway as the 3-year-old filly trotters prance into town to square off in four divisions of the New York Sire Stakes with each leg carrying a purse of approximately $30,000.   The defending 2-year-old filly champion of the New York Sire Stakes, Lucky Ava, is entered and will compete in the second division which will go off as the second race on the 12-race program. She is the even money morning line favorite.   Lucky Ava (Lucky Chucky-Ava Manon) is off to a great start already in 2018 with three victories in four tries. A pair of her wins have come in New York Sire Stakes competition as she has amassed a bankroll of $50,968 this season and $254,564 in her brief 14-race career.   In her last outing on June 4 at Monticello Raceway, Lucky Ava blasted the field in the Sire Stakes with an 11-length score in 1:58.4 for co-owner/trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt.   The bad news for the other four that drew into her bracket is the fact Lucky Ava rolled to an easy victory last season at Buffalo Raceway so she knows her way around the Hamburg half-mile oval.   The rest of the field hoping to pull off the upset includes Goddess Ofgoodness (Per Henriksen), Haulin Banc (Scott Zeron), Girl Talk (Drew Monti) and Red Reign (Jim Morrill Jr.).   The opener on the program, which begins at 12:30 p.m., has Somedew Somedont (Deweycheatumnhow-Someday) the top contender. Trained by Dale Lawton and with Marcus Miller scheduled to drive, Somedew Somedont has finished second in two straight Sire Stakes events and looks to break out of that runner up habit.   The main threat should come from the Svanstedt trainee Ciao Dolce (Credit Winner-Pizza Dolce) who is fresh off a length victory in the Sire Stakes at Monticello on June 4 in 1:59.4.   The first race also includes Arabella's Cadet (Mark Etsell), Sevenbuyeleven (Zeron), Cherry Peep (Dan Daley) and Firm To Stay (Morrill Jr.).   Lima Novelty, also a winner last season at Buffalo Raceway as a two-year-old, drew the rail in the third division with Zeron in the bike. A winner four times in 2017 and earning a spot in the Sire Stakes finals, Lima Novelty (Chapter Seven-No Pictures Please) has a pair of third place finishes thus far in 2018 in three tries.   The other six participants looking to knock off Lima Novelty include Jackie Newlands (Morrill Jr.), Pleaspleaspleas (Bryan Andersen), Logetta Hanover (Kevin Cummings), Exs And Ohs (Etsell), Natalie Hanover (Svanstedt) and Corrupt (Monti).   Finally, the last leg has Tribute To Seven (Chapter Seven-Southwind Confetti) topping the list of competitors with Zeron scheduled to be in the sulky. Last time out on June 4 in the Sire Stakes at Monticello, she bruised the field by notching a 6-3/4 score in a throttled down 2:01.   The field also includes White Cheetah (Morrill Jr.), Fury Road (Svanstedt), Perfect Summer K (Ray Fisher Jr.), Golden Muscle (Monti) and Supergirl Riley (Miller).   With hot and muggy conditions in the forecast on Sunday, the Buffalo Raceway track record for the 3-year-old filly trotters of 1:58.2 shared by High Rise (2015), Straight A Student (2016) and Fad Finance (2016) could be in serious jeopardy.   There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior A Series and a pair of $6,500 Excelsior B Series races slated.   The Father's Day program will also feature the "Lucky Exacta Magnet" giveaway along with free sno cones and cotton candy for the kids. The trackside grill will also be open during the card.   For more information including the latest news, upcoming promotions, simulcast schedule, race replays, results and entries, go to www.buffaloraceway.com   by Brian J. Mazurek, for Buffalo Raceway

WASHINGTON, PA, April 4, 2017 -- Dismissed at 18-1 thanks to a stale date and poor post position, Box Of Luck zipped right to the front and pulled off the harness racing upset in Tuesday's Tamarind Trot at The Meadows. DD's Comet captured the other $15,000 opening-leg division -- and gave Aaron Merriman his 9,000th career win -- in the series for 3-year-old colts and geldings. The event honors Tamarind, long a top performer at The Meadows and still active for owner/trainer Bill Bercury. Box Of Luck earned $39,225 at 2 but ended his season Sept. 11 off a stretch of subpar performances. He hadn't raced since then and was saddled with post 8 for his return. But when Mike Wilder sent him to the lead, the Lucky Chucky-New DVD gelding thwarted the first-over bid of Rockefeller Lindy and prevailed in 1:58, 1-1/4 lengths better than Media Buzz. Rockefeller Lindy saved show. Robert Rougeaux III trains Box Of Luck for Brocious Racing Stable and Lone Wolf Stable. In the $13,500 Filly & Mare Winners Over $10,000 Life Handicap Trot, Goodtogo Hanover withstood nearly race-long pressure from Oho Diamond to down her by a head in 1:55, with the pocket-sitting Bags For All third. Brian Zendt drove for trainer Phillip Zendt and owner Gary Saul. The 4-year-old daughter of Explosive Matter-Grammy Hall extended her career bankroll to $171,427. Jim Pantaleano piloted three winners on the 13-race card.   The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, July 29, 2016 -- Racing as Lone Wolf Stable, Brian Gillespie has done well at The Meadows, even sending a starter to last week's Adios eliminations. But there was one weapon missing from his harness racing equine arsenal -- a horse to compete in Friday's Edward M. Ryan, a $53,048 Arden Downs Grand Circuit stake named for Gillespie's late grandfather, a former owner of The Meadows. Brocious Racing Stable and trainer Robert Rougeaux III, on the other hand, had just such a horse, a promising 2-year-old gelding trotter named Box Of Luck. The connections talked Thursday and worked out the sale of a share of Box Of Luck to Lone Wolf. The result was pure storybook, as the son of Lucky Chucky-New DVD captured his Ed Ryan division in1:59 for his third win in five outings. Equestrianconxtion was second, 2 lengths in arrears, while Toolbox Tuesday earned show. "It's (Gillespie's) grandfather's memorial race, and he kind of wanted to have a dog in the fight," Rougeaux said. "I understand that. We have memorials for my grandfather at the fairs, and we'll race our rear ends off to try to win that blanket. So we worked out a deal." Muay Hanover and Don Dream also took Ed Ryan splits in identical clockings of 1:57.1. Dave Palone pulled the pocket with Muay Hanover into the final turn and collected a measured victory in 1:57.1. Vegas Chuck was second, 1/2 length back, with Moonshiner Hanover third. "I think the track tonight is actually better if you sit off the rail a little bit," Palone said. "So I just wanted to get him out in the good footing. He felt great in the bit. I thought it would turn into a sprint, and I had plenty of horse." Ron Burke trains Muay Hanover, a son of Donato Hanover-Musetta Hanover, for Burke Racing Stable, Our Horse Cents Stables and J&T Silva Stables. Don Dream saved ground before brushing through the stretch for Tony Hall and downing Andy M by 2 lengths. Early leader Monsta Hanover completed the ticket. "He had a little bit of a snafu in his first race, but we can live with that because he's doing the job now," said Todd Rooney, who trains the son of Donato Hanover-Gabbys Dream and owns with Kimberly Farmer. "Tonight we thought we might have to go to the front, but it turned out we didn't have to. This was a good education for him." $49,800 Arden Downs, 2-Year-old Filly Trotters In Friday's co-feature, a Grand Circuit stake known as the Judge Joe McGraw, Dangle Than Deke set a stake record of 1:55.4 while extending her unbeaten streak to four. She erased the old mark of 1:56.1 established in 2013 by Broadway Socks. The other divisions went to Youvegotwhatitakes and EZ Passer. Dangle Then Deke -- her name is a mash-up of a pair of ice hockey maneuvers -- moved first over for Mike Wilder and defeated Temple Ruins by 1-1/2 lengths, with Lovebeinglucky third. "In terms of desire and gait, she's the best 2-year-old filly I've ever had," said Dirk Simpson, who trains the daughter of Cantab Hall-Love My Muscles for James Bafia. "Her desire is unbelievable. She's easy on herself on the off days, but when she gets behind the gate, she's all business." Youvegotwhatitakes enjoyed a second-over trip and tracked down the leader, Trixie Dust, in the lane to down her by 3/4 lengths in 1:57.1. Blue Line Sniper earned show. "The first quarter was 27," said winning driver Dan Rawlings. "These are 2-year-old trotters, so I thought they'd come back to me. I had plenty of time to catch them. She's game." Erv Miller trains Youvegotwhatitakes, a daughter of Yankee Glide-Char Catie Becca, for Ronald Michelon, Paymaq Racing and Louis Willinger. EZ Passer was well back early for Hall, trainer Mark Harder and owner Joseph Jannuzzelli, but Hall indicated he liked his position. "They told me she gets hot and not to do anything too quick with her," he said. "She kind of backed herself off, and I didn't want to force the issue. She was great following cover -- stayed nice and relaxed." The daughter of Crazed-Musclegrad prevailed in 1:57.3, 6-3/4 lengths better than Broadway Photo. Blameitonthealcohl was third. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

DAYTON PA - The two-year-old harness racing trotters continue to put on a speed show on the Pennsylvania fair circuit in 2016, with the track standards at the oval in this westcentral Pennsylvania borough rewritten for both sexes during Fair Sire Stakes action for freshmen on Saturday.   First to add his name to the local records was the Great George Two gelding Gee Wizz George, who battled outside of pacesetter Sortie Hanover for over the last quarter mile, then was just along at the wire by a head in 2:04.2, lowering the best time ever posted locally by a baby colt trotter (Albany House, 2012) by a tick while taking a new mark. Trainer Jean Rastetter handles the fast freshman for owners Maryann and Richard Rastetter; for Ron Harvey, now driving only intermittently, his only two sulky successes since 2008 have come behind "George."   But the title of "fastest two-year-old trotter ever at Dayton" was then transferred in ... gee wizz, how long was it? ... fifteen minutes, as in the very next race the Lucky Chucky filly Lovebeinglucky dispatched her competition by 8¼ lengths, coming home in 29.3 to complete a 2:04.1 mile.   That clocking beat both the previous filly standard (2:05, Classical Original, 2003) and the newly-etched mark for overall fastest 2YO trotter ever locally. Lovebeinglucky, who also added a personal speed badge, became the first horse to set two sectional standards at the fairs this year (her first came in a 2:05.4 mile at Butler) for red-hot trainer/driver Rick Beinhauer, who shares ownership in the precocious miss with Regina Beinhauer.   A third Dayton record was missed only by a fifth, as the Dragon Again filly Camera Lady sped off to a 28.4 personal last quarter to win in 2:01.2, just a tick off of DVC Jaded Attitude's 2012 local record. Both of these fillies share the link of owner/trainer Dave Brickell, with Brickell also owning Camera Lady, now a winner four times in five starts, with Mitchell York.   On the human side of the equation, the day was dominated by 23-year-old driver Shawn Johnston, who had five victorious sulky assignments on the day - after never having had more than a one-day driving double in his 49 previous triumphs.   The quintet raises Shawn's fair total to 13 for the season, one behind Chris Shaw, who teamed with brother/trainer Jason for a win with 2PF Gemalous to give them a category-leading 14 fair winners.   The three-year-olds take to the track for their PA Fair Sire Stakes races tomorrow (Sunday), with the first of a dozen races set to go behind the gate at 1 p.m.   by Jerry Connors for the PA Sire Stakes Fair  

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, July 5, 2016 - As a general rule, investing in half-mile track eight-hole trotters is not the soundest handicapping philosophy. Sometimes, however, the risk-reward equation gets tossed on its ear. It was Tuesday afternoon, courtesy of Military Blue (Mark MacDonald), who lit up Yonkers Raceway's tote board to the tune of a $229.50 win mutuel. Beating only a lone breaker early in the $25,000 sixth race, Military Blue improved steadily, eventually operating from second over. Widest turning for home, he not only won, he did so going away. Military Blue defeating pace-setting, odds-on favorite Capt. Serious (Scott Zeron) by a couple of lengths in 1:57.1. Lindylicious (George Brennan) was third. The upsetter, a 4-year-old Lucky Chucky gelding co-owned by (trainer) David Hoover and Albert Abdala III, is now 2-for-11 this season. He led a $575 exacta and $1,970 triple. by Frank Drucker, for Yonkers Raceway

PROSPECT PA - The Big Butler Fair opened a two-day stand as the second stop on the 2016 Pennsylvania fair circuit on Thursday, and the northwest Pennsylvania has never remotely seen a parade of two-year-old trotting speed as it did today, with track records for both sexes obliterated.   Butler traditionally races just before the Fourth Of July, so quick baby miles, especially from trotters, could not be expected - the old marks were 2:09.1 for colts and 2:08.2 for fillies. But we're glad nobody showed today's freshmen the record books before they raced.   The Broadway Hall gelding Toolbox Tuesday was the first recordbreaker to take to the track, and he left the old divisional Butler standard somewhere over by the Ohio line as he roared home in 2:05.3 - yes, 3 3/5 seconds faster than the male mark established by KT Tag I'm It in 2010. The fast freshman made quite an impression in breaking his maiden for trainer/driver Roger Hammer, who is also the co-owner with Vicki Fair.   (A thought should be spared here for the Great George Two gelding Gee Wizz George, who was victorious in another section of the baby colt trot for driver Leo Harvey, trainer Jean Rastetter, and owners Maryann and Richard Rastetter. His time of 2:07.3 would also have shattered the old Butler mark - if his race hadn't come one race after Toolbox Tuesday's.)   The fillies weren't about to miss out on the record action on the fine fairgrounds half-miler, and in the race after Gee Wizz George's, the Lucky Chucky filly Lovebeinglucky stopped the stopwatch in 2:05.4, leaving the old mark of 2:08.2, set by Trustworthy Gal in 2014, way up the stretch. Lovebeinglucky, trained and driven , and owned in partnership with his wife Regina, by Rick Beinhauer, continued Beinhauer's assault on the fair record book - in two stops he's had this mile, and he drove the three-year-old Major Matter, who's in at Butler tomorrow (Thursday) , to a 2:04 victory which equaled the fastest trot mile ever during Wattsburg's 2016 seasonal opener.   Roger Hammer also trained the fastest winning freshman pacer of the day - and his time too was 2:05.3, just like Hammer's trotter Toolbox Tuesday. The fast pacer was a filly, the Delmarvalous miss Marvalous B T, who was driven here by Steve Schoeffel for conditioner/owner/breeder Hammer.   FINISHING LINES - The three-year-olds take center stage on the Friday Butler card, with 12 races starting at 10 a.m. Major Matter is in the third ... Roger Huston said to tell everyone that he really likes the chances of the one horse in the first race at Butler on Friday.   By Jerry Connors, for the PA Fair Circuit   Apparently the photo of Toolbox Tuesday did not work out -- we apologize, and if we find a remedy, we'll send it along. Here's a photo of 2TF recordsetter Love Being Lucky.

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