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FREEHOLD, NJ — September 9, 2018 — Freehold hosted another weekend of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Standardbred Development Fund Legs among other stakes.  Friday (Sept 7) saw three divisions of the second leg of the NJSS SDF for 2-year-old filly trotters with a purse of $7,500.  Then on Saturday (Sept 8) the $25,000 Charles Smith Final and $83,725 Renaissance Final took place. The first division of the NJSS SDF for 2-year-old fillies was won by Ake Svanstedt trainee Golden Tricks.  The Trixton filly sat the two hole to storm past the competition in 1:59.4.  This makes lifetime win number one for owners Brixton Medical. Big Weezy and Miss Trixton finished in a dead heat for second place. Division number two belonged to Ron Burke with his filly July.  July stalked the field from position four until the stretch where she trotted past the leaders to stop the clock in 2:00.2.  Owned and bred by Diamond Creek the Father Patrick filly earned her first-lifetime win.  Trelanney was a close second while the odds-on favorite Given came in third. The last division of the day went to odds-on favorite Surreality. Trained by Mark Harder the So Surreal filly left from post position five to make the front and never look back winning in 1:56.3.  This win makes a win and a second in the SDF legs for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci.  Silver Credit came in second while Chaperess rounded out the trifecta. Saturday opened up with the Charles Smith Final for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters, before the regular card. U Need Stones nosed out the competition in 1:59.4 for trainer and co-owner Ron Burke.  Shoshie Deo finished second while Paging Doctor Teo came in third. The feature race on Saturday's card was the Renaissance Final for 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers with a purse of $83,725.  Tom Fanning’s Just Plain Loco won by the disqualification of Trente Deo in 1:57.1.  This is win number 4 for owners Paul Lang and Fanning Racing and boosts the Well Said geldings lifetime earnings to $89,512.   Trente Deo was placed second with Mark Witha K finishing third. Live racing resumes a Freehold on Friday, September 14, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford for the SBOANJ

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - After winning both legs one and two, Melanie's Fran, Shoshie Deo and Hypnotic Tale all completed natural hat tricks at the Meadowlands Friday night by taking their respective $75,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes finals for 3-year-olds. Melanie's Fran, a gelded son of Hypnotic Blue Chip-Natalie, had the easiest road to his pacing colts and geldings championship, having to defeat only Hypnotico in all three NJSS dashes. He won by 9 lengths Friday in a non-betting race in 1:56.3 for driver David Miller and trainer Kevin McDermott. Shoshie Deo (Wishing Stone-Fortune Dream) took the colts and geldings trot in 1:57.3 for driver George Brennan and trainer DeWayne Minor by 1½ lengths over Brutal Storm. Paging Doctor Teo was third. As the 3-5 public choice, Shoshie Deo paid $3.40. David Miller, who drove four winners on the betting card in addition to the non-bettor, guided the Linda Toscano-trained Hypnotic Tale to a 2¼-length victory over Cruzinforavictory in 1:54 in the filly pace. Hurrikane Empress was third. A daughter of Hypnotic Blue Chip-Born Storyteller, Hypnotic Tale returned $2.80 as the 2-5 public choice. Samis Rolin Stone was sent to the gate as the 1-5 public choice in her bid for a Sire Stakes sweep of the filly trot, but was gunned down in deep stretch by 21-1 chance Take A Wish (Wishing Stone-Take A Taste) and driver Steve Smith by a half-length in 1:55.2. Diamondstone Us finished third. The winner paid $45.60 and is trained by Dawn Anderson. FRIDAY'S FREQUENT FAVORITES: Over the last three Friday programs, aided by a plethora of short fields, post-time choices have won 17 of 30 races (57 percent). A LITTLE MORE: Due to a lackluster entry box, betting was down precipitously - 28.5 percent - from the comparable card last year. The corresponding program from a year ago saw 93 horses participate on the program, and the result was an average of 8.5 starters per race for 11 races, with a total wager of $2,420,244. Friday night, only 75 horses (a 19 percent drop from 2017) competed on the 10-race card, an average of 7.5 starters per race, which included two four-horse fields and one five-horse field in the NJSS events. The total bet was $1,730,280. ... After failing to result in a single-ticket winner, the carryover for the Late 20-Cent Jackpot Super High-Five inched closer to a quarter-of-a-million dollars. The pot now stands at $244,313. ... Racing resumes at the Big M Saturday at 7:15 p.m. By Dave Little, for the Meadowlands    

East Rutherford, NJ - The $75,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) finals for harness racing 3-year-old pacers and trotters will be raced on Friday's Meadowlands card. Each final holds the possibility of a clean sweep, boasting repeat leg winners in all divisions.   The colt pacers number just two with Melanie's Fran poised to annex the stake as a sophomore, just as he did last season. His lone opponent, Hypnotico, as yet has been unable to muster a challenge to the defending champ. Dave Miller drives and Kevin McDermott trains Melanie's Fran for the 80 Slot Right Stable.   Pacing fillies number five and Hypnotic Tale has won both preliminary legs, resulting in 9-5 morning line favoritism as she departs from post four in the fourth race. It's Dave Miller again with the assignment for trainer Linda Toscano and Ron Mario who bred and raised the filly from his good mare Born Storyteller.   DeWayne Minor is holding the best hand in both trotting finals with Samis Rolin Stone also on the verge of a series sweep in the filly division. She's been a handy winner each time and has the favorite's role in the final with DeWayne doing the driving from post two in the second race for breeder/owner Daniel A Lengacher.   The colt trot (race 3) holds a quartet of competitors with Minor sending Annemette Minor's Shoshie Deo (PP #2 George Brennan) into the fray after being a bit of a surprise winner over defending champ U Need Stones in both legs. In last week's 1:53.4 career best win he stalked U Need Stones throughout, outkicking that rival in the stretch.   Off the racetrack, the Super Hi-5 Jackpot Carry over continues to climb, now in excess of the $240,000 mark. Program pages are available for free at this link.   Nick Salvi

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ — May 20, 2018 — The Meadowlands held the $15,000 first leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for harness racing sophomore pacers and trotters on Friday (May 18).  The colts raced in non-bettting races, while the fillies were during the regular scheduled card. The 3-year-old pacing colts was won by Melanie’s Fran (David Miller) trained by Kevin McDermott in 1:57.3.  The son of Hypnotic Blue Chip owned by 80 Slot Right Stable of New Jersey, easily beat the competition, Hypnotico. Shoshie Deo (George Brennan) took the first leg of 3-year-old colt trotters in 1:56.2.  Trained by Deshawn Minor and owned by Annemette Minor, Shoshie Deo moved to the front at the quarter after U Need Stones made a break, making it an easy win for him.  U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) came back to finish second while Brutal Storm (Eric Abbatiello) came in third. The Linda Toscano trainee Hypnotic Tale (David Miller) won the 3-year-old filly pacing division in 1:53.1.  Owned by Ronald Mario, the Hypnotic Blue Chip sired filly sat patiently in the pocket then wore down the competition at the wire.  Hurrikane Empress (Yannick Gingras) held on for second while Cruzinforavictory (Frank Milby) finished third. The 3-year-old filly trotting division was won by Samis Rolin Stone (Brett Miller) also trained by Deshwan Minor in 1:56.4.  The Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher took the lead at the half and never looked back.  Diamondstone Us (David Miller) finished second and Take A Wish (Steve Smith) came in third. The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for 3-year-olds is scheduled for Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Meadowlands. Courtney Stafford

East Rutherford, NJ - The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for harness racing 3-year-olds get underway on Friday, May 18 at The Meadowlands.   The once mighty program has diminished to where there are but a handful of horses to compete in each of the $15,000 sophomore divisions, necessitating that both colt races be held off the night card and raced early as non-betting events.   The same two pacing colts who competed in last year's freshman division will match up again with Melanie's Fran (Dave Miller) who swept through the series last season facing his rival Hypnotico (Austin Siegelman) at 6:00 pm. Kevin McDermott trains Melanie's Fran for the 80 Slot Right Stable.   U Need Stones (Yannick Gingras) had his way with the trotting colts as a freshman and he'll look to continue his mastery over three rivals for leading trainer Ron Burke at 6:10. "Stones" has come back strong this season with a win and a second in as many starts this year for owners Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. Shoshie Deo is the main rival here.   The filly divisions drew five entries in each and will be raced as part of the pari-mutuel card.   Hurrikane Empress (Gingras) is the returning champ of the filly pacing division for trainer John McDermott and she'll begin her title defense in race 1. She swept the division with ease last year and has had a few starts to prepare for this battle for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing and Pegasis Investment Group.   The filly trot goes as the third race where Princess Marxxx (Gingras) is the returning final winner in what is clearly the most competitive division. She took last year's final for owner/breeder Steve Stewart and was a winner in her most recent overnight contest. Justin Lebo is the trainer.   The NJSS comes back next Friday for leg #2 with the finals set for June 1.   The big news on campus is that Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural will sit for an interview with Dave Brower on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court to permit sports betting in New Jersey. That interview will be on Racing From The Meadowlands at 6:45 pm on The Meadowlands live broadcast.   Post time is 7:15 pm.   Nick Salvi      

The Meadowlands - The $100,000 freshman finals for the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) will be raced on Friday evening at The Meadowlands. Short harness racing fields dictate that three of the four be raced as non-betting races starting at 6:30 p.m. They will be carried on The Meadowlands simulcast feed live.   On the pari-mutuel card is the filly trot where six daughters of Wishing Stone will decide the division of that purse. Morning line choice Princess Marx (Andy Miller) looked sharp winning the second leg in 1:57.4 last week for owner Steve Stewart and trainer Justin Lebo while Noel Daley sends out a talented pair in leg one winner Be Bop Sally (Andy McCarthy) and Diamondstone US (David Miller) to contest the issue.   Fifteen Kindergarten pacing colts split into fields of seven and eight. Race two is the first $10,000 division where Key Advisor (PP#4 Scott Zeron) has shown steady improvement and was a 1:54.3 winner in his most recent qualifier for trainer Tony Alagna and owners Brittany Farms and Key Advisor Racing. To his outside from post six Speed To Market (Corey Callahan) flashed high speed in his first money start, setting an honest pace before succumbing late in a 26.1 final quarter of the 1:52 mile.   In the third race the Kindergarten colts are led by Closing Statement (PP#3 Tim Tetrick) who disappointed both his connections and the public by skipping off stride while 1-5 at Pocono. He gets a chance at redemption on Friday for trainer Joe Holloway and owners Val D'Or Farm, Rojan Stable and Ted Gewertz. He'll have to deal with Born To Be Bad (Andy Miller) who has an Ohio Sires Stakes win at Scioto Downs under his belt.   A filed of nine comprise the first of two Kindergarten pacing filly division. All On Top Hanover (PP#2 Marcus Miller) clearly has the best resume of this group having been second in a fast overnight, pacing her final quarter an eye-popping 25.3, then was third beaten less than a length in 1:52 in a NYSS at Vernon Downs. Crawford Farms recently bought into the filly joining Erv Miller Stable, Ron Michelon and George Golemes as owners.   The second filly division is an evenly matched group of eight in the eighth race. Kissin In The Sand (PP#7 Yannick Gingras) was the highest priced yearling of the group at $130,000 and owners Marvin Katz and Bud Hatfield placed her with trainer Nancy Johansson. After a pair of impressive qualifiers at The Meadowlands, Kissin In The Sand broke stride as the favorite at Pocono . She'll likely be a popular choice in this one, returning to the big track.   If it's fun you seek then join the crown up on the roof for the Winners on the Terrace party every Friday night.   Post time is 7:15.   Nick Salvi    

The Meadowlands - The Championship Meet hits it's best stride this weekend with stakes races and harness racing freshmen aplenty populating the weekend's races at The Meadowlands.   Friday night's races are dominated by two-year-old races with three divisions of New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) scheduled as non-bettors beginning at 6:30 p.m., the NJSS filly trotters going as a short five pack in race two and no fewer than four divisions of the first leg for the Kindergarten Classic Trotting Series.   Kindergarten colts open the card with seven freshmen set to go for a purse of $10,000. Godspell Hall (PP#5 Scott Zeron) makes his pari-mutuel debut for Tony Alagna after a pair of purposeful baby races. The NY bred Conway Hall colt was a $120,000 Lexington Selected Sale buy for a partnership that includes Riverview Racing, Willow Oak Ranch, Joe Barbera and the Godspell Hall Stable. He comes in off a solid 1:58.3 third place effort as his final prep, sprinting home in 28 flat.   Jimmy Takter send a powerful three headed battalion of expensive Muscle Hill colts into the fourth race, representing $880,000 worth of horseflesh. Bautista ($120,000 LEX) has won all three of his appearances thus far for driver Yannick Gingras and starts from post two Friday for owners Brixton Medical, RAW Equine, Herb Liverman and Joe Sbrocco.   Owner Melby Gard gave $410,000 for Story Time Hanover (PP#6 Andy McCarthy) at last November's Standardbred Horse Sale in Harrisburg, PA. He's the first foal of the stakes winning Shared Past and has a pair of impressive qualifiers under his belt, the latest a 1:59.1 win with Takter driving.   Go To Hill (PP#7) was a $350,000 Lexington yearling purchase by Lennart Agren's SRF Stable of Sweden. He was a winner at first asking with a 1:59.1 baby race score a month ago and trainer Takter shall do the driving himself on Friday.   The Kindergarten for the fairer sex came up as two full ten filly fields and driver Scott Zeron picked up a nice pair of drives, landing on a talented horse in each division.   The first division (race 8) is an absolute slugfest with two of the best we've seen thus far in morning trials hooking up. Mooshka Stride (Zeron PP#3) is the $260,000 Credit Winner first foal of the great Check Me Out and she has certainly lived up to her pedigree in the mornings. Emilio and Maria Rosati's potential princess won as she pleased in her first go then rallied like a veteran when raced from behind horses in her most recent effort, sprinting home in 27.1 in a fast mile. Mark Harder is the trainer.   She'll face the fast Live Laugh Love (PP#5 Dave Miller) who seared the oval in 1:56.2 last Saturday morning. Mel Hartman, David McDuffee and Diamond Creek Racing share ownership of the $90,000 Lexington sold daughter of Donato Hanover.   Supergirl Riley and Bella Glos will battle in the second Kindergarten division, race nine. They've each won both of their schooling races, Supergirl (PP#2 Zeron) trotted to a convincing 1:56.4 record in her most recent with something left. She hails from the Erv Miller barn where she is conditioned for Paymaq Racing, George Golemes and Harvey Eisman who selected her from the Lexington sales for $32,000.   Bella Glos (PP#8 Yannick Gingras) also races out of the Takter barn and has demonstrated both style and grace in a pair of 1:57 schooling wins for owner Black Horse Racing. This daughter of Cantab Hall was a $95,000 buy at last fall's Harrisburg yearling sale.   Also on the card is a very competitive $20,000 Preferred Handicap trot featuring all time Meadowlands track record holder JL Cruze.   There's plenty to do, including the party on the roof where millennials gather to dance, drink and bet at Victory Terrace and you can get a head start on the Late Pick 4 with free program pages.   The fun starts at 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi              

Hurrikane Kingcole has hit the ground running. Well, his progeny has anyway. As it stands, from a crop of two foals in North America, the Cams Card Shark stallion has produced North America's leading money-earning harness racing 2yo filly in Hurrikane Empress, courtesy of a win in a New Jersey Sires Stakes race at the famed Meadowlands last weekend. Hurrikane Empress defeated Hypnotic Tale and Cruzinforavictory in a time of 1:58.0. Prepared by John McDermott Jnr. and handled by leading reinsman Yannick Gingras, the filly sprinted home in 26.1 seconds. The combination of McDermott Jnr. and Gingras enjoyed tremendous success with Hurrikane Kingcole on the racetrack before his retirement. Hurrikane Empress is out of the Somebeachsomewhere mare Hurrikane Schmumma. After being purchased by Kevin and Kay Seymour and relocating to their Egmont Park Stud on the Darling Downs in Queensland, Hurrikane Kingcole has been well received by breeders. The super-fast son of Cam’s Card Shark out of Blazing Yankee, Hurrikane Kingcole won 14 out of 49 career races and earned $582,807 with a lifetime mark of 1:47.6. He is credited with the fastest mile ever seen at Mohawk at 1:46.2 after missing the race start. The Cam Fella influence on Australian breeding needs no introduction owing to the deeds of Fake Left and now Bettors Delight among others. Fake Left previously stood at Egmont Park and was the sire the of country’s greatest ever performer, four times Inter Dominion champion and the richest earner of all-time in Australasia, Blacks A Fake. Hurrikane Kingcole stands alongside former world champion Mr Feelgood and Gotta Go Cullect at Egmont Park Stud. Chris Barsby

Marcia Louise (Bickford) Stearns of Lawrenceville, New Jersey, died Saturday, June 17, after a long illness. She was 76.   Born and raised in Wolfeboro, NH, she graduated from Brewster Academy and earned a BA in English from the University of New Hampshire.   Mrs. Stearns began her career teaching elementary school in Farmington, NH. Later she was elected Town Clerk of Hampstead, NH and served two terms until she moved to Newtown, PA. She then returned to teaching at St. Ignatius School in Yardley where she taught the fourth grade for nearly two decades.   She was married for 35 years to the late Bruce Adams Stearns, a prominent harness racing leader who served as executive director of the New Jersey Sire Stakes Program in the State Department of Agriculture before his passing in 2001. Previously, Mr. Stearns was publicity director at harness racetracks, including Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania and Rockingham in New Hampshire. He was elected posthumously in 2002 to the Harness Racing Communicators Hall of Fame.   Survived by daughters Christine Stearns and Catherine (Stearns) Medich, son-in-law Benjamin, granddaughter Elizabeth Medich, sisters-in-law Elaine Bickford and Gail Bird (David), and several nieces and nephews.   She was predeceased by her parents, Frank Lovewell Bickford Jr. and Eleanor (Kenney) Bickford; husband Bruce Adams Stearns, and brother Kenneth Bickford.   Family visitation will be from 4 to 8 PM on Wednesday, July 21, at the Orender Home for Funderals, 2643 Old Bridge Road, Manasquan, NJ. Burial will be in New Hampshire.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the George School and sent to the Advancement Office, 1690 Newtown Langhorne Rd, PMB 4438, Newtown, PA 18940, or to the charity of your choice.   From Leon Zimmerman, USHWA      

East Rutherford, NJ - The 2017 edition of the New Jersey Sires Stakes for harness racing three-year-olds come to their conclusion with the $100,000 finals for all four divisions on Friday night at The Meadowlands.   The speedy pacing colt Every Way Out has been invincible at both two and three, sweeping through the state restricted program with nary an anxious moment. There is no reason to think Friday's race will be any different as he's be facing the same group of overmatched rivals and has been installed as the 1-5 choice on the morning line from post two in the second race.   Tim Tetrick has been aboard for all of the previous successes and will drive Every Way Out on Friday for trainer Dylan Davis and owners Taylor, Basen, Gold and Lazzaro.   Another prohibitive favorite is the pacing filly Colorful Jasmine, who has dominated her rivals in both preliminary legs for the Cancelliere brothers, John (owner) and Tom (trainer).   The homebred Philos Hanover lass lowered her record to 1:52.3 in an open length leg two win last week with plenty left and leaves from the pole for Corey Callahan in Friday's fourth race.   Both of the trotting races have a clear cut favorite in each division as well.   Race five features the gifted filly Ariana G, last season's top freshman. She was held out of leg two off after her crushing 1:52.2 victory for Yannick Gingras in the first leg. Nine other talented sophomore fillies have accepted the challenge but the road to the winner's circle clearly goes through Ariana G. Jimmy Takter trains the homebred champion for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   What The Hill has been dominant against the trotting colts. He swept through both legs with the greatest of ease, lowering his record to 1:52.2 in the process for trainer Ron Burke and his partners Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva and Deo Volente Farms. Driver Dave Miller will direct the fortunes of What The Hill from post two in Friday's seventh race.   A good supporting card, the popular 60 second wagering spree promotion and a party on Victory Terrace with music and host Gary Dileo await your visit to live racing.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.   Nick Salvi          

East Rutherford, NJ - The second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for three-year-old trotters and pacers headlines the Friday night harness racing card at The Meadowlands leading into the $100,000 final for each of the four sophomore divisions next Friday.   There is but a single division of each group as the connections of a few leg one winners have chosen to take the week off with their final berth secured.   The pacing colts are first up with a six pack set to go in the evening's second race. Every Way Out has dominated this class from day one and there's no reason to expect any change here. He'll begin from the outside in post six with regular driver Tim Tetrick in position for trainer Dylan Davis and owners Howard Taylor, Abe Basen, Ed Gold and Tom Lazzaro.   Trotting fillies are up in race five and with leg one division winner Ariana G not among the nine declared the anticipated match up with Glitzy Gal will occur in next week's final. Glitzy Gal is in the race and has the favorite's role despite post eight off a convincing 1:52.3 win last week. She's matured nicely from two to three for owners Mel Hartman, David McDuffee and Little E, LLC. Nifty Norman trains and Dave Miller drives the $140,000 yearling purchase by Muscle Hill.   Trotting colts are up next in race six and What The Hill races back while Long Tom rests after wins last week. What The Hill is the most accomplished of the group and was dominant last week in a front stepping 1:52.2 career record for Dave Miller. He begins from post two on Friday, carrying the hopes of Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents Stable, J&T Silva and Deo Volente Farms.   Pacing fillies wrap up the NJSS action for the evening in race eight. Homebred Philos Hanover lass Colorful Jasmine is the returning winner and she is the logical choice to repeat from the eight hole for the Cancelliere brothers Tom (trainer) and John (owner). Captain Corey Callahan has the drive.   Tantalize your taste buds in the terraced dining room Pink with a tropical Caribbean buffet or spend the evening on the roof in Victory Terraces with your host Gary Dileo.   Post time is 7:15 p.m.          

East Rutherford, NJ - Friday, May 19 marks the start of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) at The Meadowlands with a total of six $20,000 divisions for harness racing sophomore trotters and pacers.   Trotting fillies open the card with Glitzy Gal the slight 2/1 choice in a competitive field of seven. She accomplished little last season in a handful of starts but has returned stronger and faster, winning in 1:56 in her most recent outing for trainer Nifty Norman. Dave Miller has the drive in Friday's race for owners David McDuffee, Mel Hartman and Little E, LLC.   Last year's NJSS final and Dan Patch award winner Ariana G banked nearly three-quarters of a million dollars while winning all the majors for the Jimmy Takter barn. She's had a pair of qualifiers to prepare for her 2017 debut as the heavy favorite in the second division (race five). Yannick Gingras drives the homebred lass for Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld.   The colts will battle it out in races three and eight, with Deacon Tony given the 9/5 edge in the first and considerably easier split. He's off to a good start on the campaign with a pair of wins thus far for trainer Ron Burke and owners Our Horse Cents, Deo Volente, TLP Stable and Silva Burroughs Stable. Gingras has the drive on Deacon Tony.   The second division contains the defending NJSS champ and Peter Haughton final winner in What The Hill. The Burke trainee was a 1:55.3 winner in his first start at age three for owners Burke Racing, Our Horse Cents, J&T Silva Stable and Deo Volente. Dave Miller is the driver.   Last year's top New Jersey freshman pacer Every Way Out is the prohibitive choice in the single division of the colt pace. He makes his seasonal debut on Friday for owners Taylor, Basen, Gold and Lazzaro. Dylan Davis is the trainer and Tim Tetrick the driver for Every Way Out.   Designated Drinker won the 2016 NJSS filly pace final for owner (in partnership with Triple C Stable), trainer and driver Chris Lems last year but is a 10/1 outsider in race ten.   The favorite's role falls to John Cancelliere's homebred Colorful Jasmine. She got a late start to her freshman campaign and missed last year's NJSS but has quickly caught up to the field and flashed god speed in her 2017 debut with an easy 1:54.1 score at Harrah's. Tom Cancelliere trains and Corey Callahan will drive Colorful Jasmine.   The menu in Pink features a Portuguese theme this Friday for $29.95.   Saturday is Preakness Day, the middle jewel of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown. The gates open at 9:30 a.m.   Friday's post time is 7:15 p.m. Nick Salvi  

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is pleased to announce an extensive 2017 stakes program with total purses in the neighborhood of $12 million. Grand Circuit stakes represent the vast majority of that amount featuring the $1.5 million Hambletonian and Oaks, $1.25 million Fall Final Four, $1.2 million TVG Championships, $1 million Graduate Series and $750,000 Meadowlands Pace along with nearly $1 million in New Jersey Sires Stakes purses.   "We are able to maintain the 2017 stakes program with the help of sponsors from within the business and we are grateful for their support. With the Breeders Crown at Hoosier this year we picked up the Fall Final Four to give those races a home and open the Fall Meet in November," said Meadowlands Chairman & CEO Jeff Gural.   The Saturday, August 5 Hambletonian Day program (noon post time) worth over $3.5 million in purses on harness racing's greatest day will include important stakes for every division. The $1 million Hambletonian and $300,000 Cane Pace provide fans the opportunity to see a leg of both the trotting and pacing triple crowns on the same card.   Leading up to the Hambletonian, the Tompkins-Geers stake for three-year-old trotting fillies and colts is coming to The Meadowlands on Saturday, July 22 to avail horsemen prepping for the Hambo and Oaks the option of one more start over the mile oval going into the big race.   Meadowlands Pace night is Saturday, July 15 this year and a full complement of important stakes on the undercard will support that $750,000 race for sophomore pacing colts. The $400,000 Hambletonian Maturity will serve as a co-feature. An early post time of 6:30 is scheduled for Pace night.   The $1.25 million Freshman Fall Final Four returns to the Garden State where they began 27 years ago. The Valley Victory and Goldsmith Maid for trotters and Governor's Cup and Three Diamonds for pacers will join the $1.2 TVG Free For All Championship Finals kicking off the 2017 Fall Meet with all finals scheduled for Saturday, November 25   The $200,000 Arthur Cutler Memorial Open Trot has been moved to Kentucky Derby Day, May 6. The Cutler winner will be awarded an invitation to compete in the 2017 Elitlopp which will be raced on Sunday, May 28, this year. Although the Cutler will have no restrictions regarding the use of trotting hopples and/or Lasix, the their use is prohibited in the Elitlopp and if their invitation to compete is accepted it must be done with that understanding. Swedish racing officials wish to make it known that there will be a direct flight to Solvalla for this year's race as was done in 2017.   The $1 million Graduate Series for 4 year olds also begins on May 6 at the Meadowlands, travels to Mohawk Racetrack for leg two on June 3, then on to Tioga Downs for the June 11 third leg. Each leg of the Graduate will have a purse of $75,000 or $50,000 if raced in divisions. The $250,000 finals will be raced at he Meadowlands on Pace elimination night, July 8.   The 2017 Kindergarten series starts in early July and will again include two legs during the Freshman Festival meet in September at The Meadowlands. The $150,000 finals are scheduled for November 3 and will be raced at Vernon Downs this year.   The Miss Versatility Series will have two legs at The Meadowlands to go along with Mohawk Racetrack and Tioga Downs. The $100,000 final will remain a part of the Little Brown Jug card at Delaware, Ohio.   All of the conditions for Meadowlands administered stakes/finals have been written to award one percent of the final purse to those horses that finish "out of the money".   The NJSS offers $100,000 guaranteed finals to the sophomores in May and freshmen in July with two $20,000 preliminary legs leading up to those events for each group.   The complete Meadowlands 2017 stakes schedule may be viewed here and the live racing/stakes calendar here. The website also provides a "Stakes Application" page where you may download all the information on the 2017 events including nomination forms and conditions for all Meadowlands administered stakes. All purses listed are estimates unless denoted as guaranteed (G).   The Hambletonian and a few other Grand Circuit stakes on the Meadowlands calendar are administered by and the property of the Hambletonian Society. All of the NJSS races are handled by the NJ Sires Stakes offices. Payments on those stakes should be directed to those offices.   Trainers must be approved for nomination to Meadowlands stakes to be accepted. It's suggested that trainers submit a racing application before the February 15 deadline if you are planning to race at The Meadowlands in stakes or overnights in 2017.   Call the Racing Office at (201) 842-5130 with questions.   From the Meadowlands Media Department  

Successful harness racing owners Emilio and Mary Rosati have raced some very talented horses around the world. When questioned about the best horse he has owned he quickly answers Excel Stride, but the gelding's ranking could be under threat due to the emergence of impressive American filly Blue Moon Stride. The Mark Harder trained filly won the $100,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes Final at the Meadowlands over the weekend and Rosati believes this is just the beginning for the daughter of Rocknroll Hanover. "I spoke to her driver Andy McCarthy after the win and he told me she cruised home and he never touched her, I think she might be something special," Rosati said. "She ran 1:50 and two fifths at her run prior and Andy told me he thought she could have broken 1:50 if he had asked her to. She is staked for a lot of big races over there and Pocono will be her next stop." Blue Moon Stride's dam is Classic Star, a full sister to superstar sire Bettor's Delight and Rosati was very keen to buy into the family. "They don't come much better bred than her, it is an interesting story because she had a full sister go through the sales before I bought her. I looked at the full sister but I wasn't 100% happy with her confirmation and she ended up going for $120,000 at auction. "When Mr Perretti died the family sold all of his horses including the weanlings so I rang Mark Harder about the weanling. He went and had a look at her and told me she was very small but very correct, I was very keen to buy into the family so I told Mark to go and buy her." Harder purchased the weanling filly at auction and contacted Rosati to pass on the good news. "When Mark rang he told me he had purchased her but I was shocked when he told me the price, I couldn't believe it when he said he only paid $27,000 for her. The Americans just don't like buying weanlings, they like to see the yearlings stride out and because she was small I think that's why I got her so cheap. "I sent her straight to a farm that I have sent horses to before where the grass is up to the horses' knees and told them to take care of her. She continued to grow and she is now the best part of 16 hands." Rosati is hoping to see Blue Moon Stride compete in Delaware and Lexington. "I'd love to see her race in the Jugette and then go to the Red Mile, if that was the case Mary and I would go over to watch her. "We aren't going to Canada, she picked up an allergy when she went last year and while there are some nice races there for her, it took too long for her to get over the problems last season." Blue Moon Stride was a tall lean two year old but has developed as an early three year old. "She really filled out and has matured a lot, if she stays sounds then who knows where she may end up, I'd like to bring her to Sydney to race in the 2018 Miracle Mile but there is a lot to happen between now and then." "She hasn't done as much as Excel Stride did yet but she has the potential to be my best." Rosati confirmed the filly will end up coming to Australia whether it is to race or breed. "All of my broodmares are here in Australia so at some stage she will be here too. I'd love to see her come here and race but when I bought her I wanted to buy into the family and her bloodlines are so good that I'm excited by what she could do as a broodmare." Greg Hayes

East Rutherford, NJ - The New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) Finals for harness racing three-year-old trotters and pacers will each be raced for a purse of $100,000 on Saturday night, June 4 at The Meadowlands. Deo Volente Farms is the title sponsor for all four divisions of the stake.   Among the contenders are the two-year-old trotting and pacing national divisional leaders from last season, Southwind Frank and Boston Red Rocks respectively.   The evening's stakes begin in race two, where Boston Red Rocks gets underway from post two for Tim Tetrick in a six horse field. The strapping Rocknroll Hanover colt took the first leg in 1:50.3, then met with road trouble last week when Tetrick was forced to take up sharply to avoid the breaking Ideal Rocky resulting in a third place finish. With a hundred grand on the line the surest course to victory is likely a forwardly placed one for Boston Red Rocks and his team of trainer Steve Elliott along with owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks.   Southwind Frank starts from the open outside post eight in the eighth race for Yannick Gingras and finds a pretty good group of horses to his left. This Muscle Hill scion won all the majors last year and is the fastest freshman trotting colt in the long history of harness racing by virtue of his 1:52.2 win in Lexington last fall. He dominated this group with a 1:52.1 romp in the first leg then stayed home while Maven's Way edged Jack Vernon in an eye-popping 1:51.4 last week. Add prospects like Bar Hopping and Brooklyn Hill to the mix and you've got yourself a horse race. Ron Burke trains the favorite, who now races for the eponymous Southwind Frank Partners.   Gingras will also be in the sulky of the consesus choice in the filly trot, directing the fortunes of All The Time (PP #2) for owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld. Trainer Jimmy Takter also chose to defer last week after her effortless 1:53.2 win in the first leg. A full field of ten will face the starter in this, the sixth race of the card.   The pacing fillies go forward in the fourth race and Emilio and Maria Rosati's Blue Moon Stride (PP #6) has the favorite's role off a pair of dominant wins against these young ladies the past two weeks. A new shooter appeared last week in Rocknroll Vision who was a good second to the fave and has drawn the outside post seven for the final. Mark Harder trains and Andrew McCarthy is scheduled to drive Blue Moon Stride in her quest to defend her title.   Promotions-wise the action is moving outdoors with the "30 & Under Handicapping Contest" offering $5,000 in prizes to the neophyte crowd on Friday evening. Interested parties may sign up until 7:00 p.m. on the rooftop Victory Terrace. Saturday marks the return of the Jersey Fest Food Truck Mash-Up brings hungry fans from all over the Garden State.   For the experienced horseplayer the standard wagers and guarantees are in place and the last race Hi-5 Super Jackpot carryover stands at $237,882 to start the racing weekend.   Meadowlands Media Relations  

Saturday night harness racing at The Meadowlands features the $25,000 second leg of the New Jersey Sires Stakes (NJSS) for sophomore pacers. Unlike the trots on Friday, both of last week's winners are back in the race this week. Boston Red Rocks faces five of the six he vanquished in 1:50.2 a week ago. He will begin from the outside post six in the second race. Those rivals include Ideal Rocky, who closed to within a head of the winner with a sustained rally into a 26.2 final quarter and Katie's Rocker, another who was inching in late. Boston Red Rocks is the early favorite for the July 16 Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace. He has come back from his award-winning freshman season in fine form for owners Peter Blood and Rick Berks, who turn the colt over to Steve Elliott for the racing season. That practice worked to perfection last year, particularly when Tim Tetrick joined the team for the Breeders Crown. On the feminine side, it's Blue Moon Stride's tiara to lose. She was the winner of last year's final and took up right where she left off by scoring a convincing win in leg one against many of the same rivals she'll face from post six in Saturday's eleventh race. The filly has the speed and power to do it from any position, as evidenced by her relentless uncovered romp last week. Her team has a distinct international flavor, owners Emilio and Maria Rosati and driver Andrew McCarthy hail from Australia while trainer Mark Harder is a New Zealand native. The weekend promotions include the Sports Jersey and Ticket Palooza giveaway and box seats for the June 4 Belmont Stakes. The doors will open at 9:30 on Sunday morning so you may watch and wager on the Elitlopp simulcast from Solvalla, Sweden. The Meadowlands is also welcoming contestants for the June 24 Miss Hot to Trot contest. Sign up now, beat the rush. Post time on Saturday is 7:15 p.m. Meadowlands Media Relations

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