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East Rutherford, NJ - As a result of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signing Senate Bill 2992 (containing the horse racing purse supplement) into law yesterday, The Meadowlands will raise overnight harness racing purses by $40,000 per card beginning the first weekend in March, then institute another $40,000 nightly increase the first weekend of April.   While it is a great help to be able to offer purses competitive with other tracks in the region, it is vitally important that horsemen support The Meadowlands with their entries as we must demonstrate improvement in the product to NJ legislators.   The continuation of the purse subsidy is contingent on their satisfaction that these monies are being well allocated to the horse racing industry in the Garden State.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - In response to Tuesday's announcement regarding the cancellation of the Governor's Cup and Three Diamonds stakes, several of last year's contributing sponsors have indicated that they would renew their support for the 2019 harness racing season.   As a result and with the February 15 deadline looming, The Meadowlands will accept nomination payments on those stakes while continuing to seek sponsorships. A decision on the fate of the stakes will then be made by early March.   The unfortunate truth is that the entire stakes sponsorship program is down significantly from 2018 and the purse supplement granted by the NJ Legislature does not allocate any funds for the Grand Circuit stakes.   The Meadowlands welcomes those who may be interested in becoming stakes sponsors for 2019. Please contact Vice President of Sponsorships Sales Jason Hall who may be reached via email at JHall@TiogaDowns.com or by phone at 607-972-6526 .   In the interest of clarity as to the distribution of the allocation and the measures that will be used to determine if the subsidy will be continued beyond the current fiscal year, NJ Senate Bill 2992 is available in its entirety from this link: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2018/Bills/S3000/2992_R2.HTM   The language directing the use of the supplement is clear;   "There shall be appropriated out of the General Fund of the State in the current fiscal year 2019 and in each of the four fiscal years thereafter $20,000,000 annually to the New Jersey Racing Commission to be used for horse racing purse subsidies. These amounts shall be allocated by the New Jersey Racing Commission equally between the thoroughbred industry and the standardbred industry. Of the funds allocated to the thoroughbred industry, 100 percent shall be allocated to Monmouth Park overnight purses. Of the funds allocated to the standardbred industry, 60 percent shall be allocated to Meadowlands overnight purses; 16 percent to Freehold overnight purses; 12 percent to the New Jersey Sire Stakes purses; 6 percent to purse bonuses for New Jersey sired horses; and 6 percent for breeders awards purses." by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - As the purse subsidy bill (Senate Bill 2992) awaits the signature of Governor Murphy, The Meadowlands is finalizing live racing and stakes purse details for this season. Although it is clear in the language of the bill that the subsidy money is to be used for overnight races, a number of breeders who have previously helped to fund Meadowlands Grand Circuit races over the past few seasons vis sponsorships have declined to continue their contributions for 2019, creating a shortfall in the stakes account. As a result of this shortfall the Governor's Cup 2 year-old colt pace and Three Diamonds 2 year-old filly pace will have to be cancelled for 2019 without the sponsor contributions. "The breeders had another record breaking year at the sales and seem to think that the pressure is now off at The Meadowlands with the purse subsidy, but it's far from off," said Meadowlands CEO Jeff Gural. "I am adding a minimum of $1 million from sports betting to the $6 million subsidy for overnight purses. The language is clear that the subsidy is not for use in our Grand Circuit stakes, so nothing has changed so far as funding those. If we get sufficient sponsors for these races we can reinstate them, if not they will be cancelled for 2019." It's important to realize that while the bill passed contains language to continue the $20 million in total to the horse racing industry for five years with $6 million directed to Meadowlands purses, it also requires the track to demonstrate that the funds are in fact improving the racing industry in New Jersey. The parameters set out by legislators include impact on handle, the number of horses in races, the success of the New Jersey bred horse in their home state and increased attendance and revenue at the tracks.  The overnight purses will be increased immediately after the bill is signed. Another increase will come in late March or early April, when the competition for horses increases. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands is announcing a slate of Late Closers for 3 year-old trotters and pacers starting the first weekend in April with three $15,000 legs and finals estimated at $60,000 for all divisions at the end of the month.   The conditions for these Late Closers are:   N/W of 2 Extended P.M. Races Lifetime or $40,000 Lifetime as of February 15, 2019 Winners of Over $100,000 Lifetime Ineligible (State Bred Wins for a Purse of $20,000 or Less Not Considered on Wins)   A nomination payment of $500 will be due by March 15. All payments will be added to the purse for the finals.   Nomination forms will be available very soon on The Meadowlands website   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands      

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands' 2019 Grand Circuit stakes schedule will offer more than $13 million in purses led by Harness Racing's most coveted prize, the 94th edition of the $1 million Hambletonian Stake. The Meadowlands will again be the stage for two of the sport's biggest events. The track's signature Crawford Farms Meadowlands Pace ($700,000e) headlines a card worth an estimated $2.5 million on Saturday, July 13. "The Greatest Day In Harness Racing", the $3 million Hambletonian Day extravaganza featuring an entire day of major Grand Circuit stakes, ends the "Championship Meet" on Saturday, August 3. With the help of our generous sponsors, all of The Meadowlands marquee stakes, which include many of the most sought after trophies for each division of trotters and pacers, will return in 2019. Nominations for those stakes close on February 15, 2019. The proposed stakes schedule remains contingent upon the pending purse subsidy having been approved by the New Jersey Legislature prior to the February 15 payment deadline and is subject to revision. The Meadowlands remains committed to racing integrity, adding a clause to the conditions for all Meadowlands administered stakes under the "Rules" heading that states; "...any owner who participates in a Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event (with added money greater than $25,000) with a trainer who has an outstanding Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test having occurred on or after January 1, 2019 and under appeal in any jurisdiction will be declared ineligible to participate in any Meadowlands Stake or Early Closing event for 12 months following the conviction if such trainer is subsequently found guilty relating to the Class 1, Class 2 or TC02 positive test." It is important to understand the gravity of this clause. Simply stated if a trainer appeals the penalty for a listed offence and continues to race while on a stay; if that penalty is upheld those owners that raced horses in stakes with the trainer in question would be excluded from racing any of their horses in any of The Meadowlands' stakes for one year from the date of the decision on the appeal. "Clean racing has been and remains a top priority at The Meadowlands," said Meadowlands President Jeff Gural. "The Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) shares our passion and has included virtually the same language in their stakes." Complete information including schedules, conditions and nomination forms may be downloaded from The Meadowlands website. Questions should be directed to the Racing Office at (201) 842-5130.   Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - With the possibility of a purse subsidy for New Jersey horse racing in the news, there are a few important points to be made on what remains to be done and some updates the progress of this vital piece of legislation.  The Meadowlands and the SBOA of NJ with their TrotPac initiative have been in concert with the NJ Thoroughbred Horseman's Association in a laborious effort over the past two years to have the legislation introduced and addressed.  The measure, known as NJ S2992 (18R), would provide $20 million annually for five years starting this fiscal year to be disbursed through the New Jersey Racing Commission for use toward purse subsidies and track operations at New Jersey racetracks. The first step was to have the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advance the proposed legislation to a vote in the NJ Senate which on December 10 was unanimously approved.  On Monday, December 17 the NJ Senate passed the legislation by a 40 - 0 vote successfully completing step two. These are encouraging signs to be sure, yet there remain a few important hurdles before the bill becomes law. It must first pass a committee of the Assembly that will determine the validity of the proposed request. If accepted, the bill will then be introduced into the full Assembly for a vote and must pass that house before ultimately being signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy.    Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - Thursday night's harness racing card opens a cornucopia of pari-mutuel delights at The Meadowlands with 34 races, the majority of which are filled to capacity, on the menu for the weekend.   Peter Kleinhans will "Borrow Ken's Binoculars" and call the 10 race Thursday card this week. Mr. Kleinhans has done it all in the biz including but not limited to; horse owner, trainer, amateur driver and occasional television personality. His resume includes stints as the race caller at the now-defunct Lakeshore Meadows, as well as Hoosier Park, Chester Downs (now Harrah's Philadelphia) and The Red Mile.   With all of the local competition for horse flesh closed for the year or on holiday hiatus, Racing Secretary Pete Koch found nearly 400 entries (more than double the usual amount) in his entry box for Friday and Saturday's double draw and will end 2018 with an embarrassment of riches from which to create large and competitive fields.   Along with the equine talent, the driver's room is awash with talent as well creating an environment which finds the horseplayer flush with options for bolstering the holiday bankroll.   Continuing the gambling theme, this week's lead promotion is Saturday's World Harness Handicapping Contest (WHHC) presented by Derby Wars qualifier. The beauty part of this contest is that the cost to enter is a very user-friendly zero, zip, nada...it's free to play and the winner will receive a seat at the table in the $150,000 (estimated) April 6, 2019 WHHC final valued at $1,300.   The standard horizontal guarantees are in place and free past performance is available for those wagers throughout the weekend along with expert selections from Meadowlands racing personalities.   Post time is 7:15 each evening.   Nick Salvi

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands will have harness racing just two nights this week with the Saturday card a casualty of a NY Jets late afternoon game in Met Life stadium. As a result, we are left with a particularly strong Thursday program featuring ten full fields of what would be the usual Friday fare.   The twin features are $15,000 conditioned races for pacing mares (race 6) and trotters (race 7), both competitive blends of veteran performers.   Fan favorite Melady's Monet (Dave Miller) will make his return to the races in the seventh coming in off a pair of impressive qualifiers after a five month hiatus. Hermann Heitmann is now training the $1.3 million winner, who is just a few weeks from his 10th birthday, for Melady Enterprises.    "Borrowing Ken's Binoculars" for this Thursday's card is Meadowlands' GM and Little Brown Jug second announcer Jason Settlemoir. He'll be followed by Pete Kleinhans next Thursday with Dave Little closing out the month at the mic.   Thursday may also be "Your Lucky Day" with the lead promotion returning gambling losses for the day to one fortunate Players Club member and double points on all live harness wagers.   The usual array of guaranteed wagers are in place and free program pages for some of those are available via the world wide web.   Post time is 7:15 PM.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - On Saturday night The Meadowlands will host the final Grand Circuit races of their 2018 season. The finals for both the TVG Championship and Freshman Fall Final Four will be raced on a card that will boast nearly $3 million in purses.   The $1 million TVG Series was launched in the hope that it would mirror the Breeders Cup Classic where the season's top 3-year-old performers would face older rivals in the season ending battle. The Open Trot Championship will see that concept come to fruition and in a year filled with great performances promises to be the race of the season for the trotting set.   Six Pack and Tactical Landing are the consensus top contenders for year end honors in the sophomore colt trot division and both have been declared for the TVG final, which could well also determine the outcome of that poll.   Six Pace drew an invitation via his world record Kentucky Futurity win for Ake Svanstedt who trains and drives the colt and owns him in partnership with Jeff Gural's Little E; LLC, Stall Kalmer and Lars Berg. He is the fastest 3-year-old trotter in harness racing history via his 1:49.1 Futurity victory and has earned over $1 million on the season.   Tactical Landing (Brian Sears) has lived up to his potential with a magical second half of the season in the Jimmy Takter barn highlighted by an imposing Breeders Crown win for the Tactical Landing Stable which resulted in his TVG invitation. He won his Kentucky Futurity split in his personal best time of 150.2 and has earned more that $600,000.   The TVG will serve as the "rubber match" between the pair as Tactical Landing prevailed in a Hambletonian elimination while Six Pack took the Futurity final over his rival.   Just last season What The Hill used a TVG Championship win to seal the deal for year end honors for the sophomore trotting colt division.   Their assignment is certainly not an easy one as the Championship also contains Yonkers International Trot winner Cruzado Dela Noche and TVG point leader Will Take Charge among a very accomplished field of nine.   Also, in the TVG Mare Pace Championship upset Breeders Crown winner Percy Blue Chip (Matt Kakaley) represent the sophomore ladies after trainer Ron Burke accepted the invitation for his interest as Burke Racing along with partners Weaver Bruscemi, Purnell & Libby and Don Emond. Percy Blue Chip has returned dividends of more than $400,000 since her September purchase for the group.   At the top of the standings for this division is Shartin N (Tim Tetrick) who has dominated the older mare division all season and could become the first older pacing mare to earn over $1 million in a single season in this race for trainer Jim King, Jr and owners Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King.   The TVG Open Pacing Championship has SSG Stable's McWicked at the top of the heap points-wise for trainer Casie Coleman and after his scintillating 1:47.3 in the grips win for Sears last Saturday he'll take some beating in the final as he tries to wrap up the Horse of the Year title.   The TVG Open Mare Trot is led by Emoticon Hanover (Dan Dube) in points and performance off her second consecutive Breeders Crown win for trainer Luc Blais and owner Determination. 2017 Horse of the Year Hannelore Hanover makes her return for the Burke barn after a freshening and Ice Attraction is a player for Svanstedt as well.   The $1.8 million Freshman Fall Final Four will send ten to post in each of the four divisions in the final big money Grand Circuit event of the season for the 2-year-olds.   Complete information on the draw will be available later today on The Meadowlands website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands  

East Rutherford, NJ - The upcoming weekend of racing, featuring eliminations for the $1.8 million Freshman Fall Final Four and an overnight peek at a few of the sport's veteran stars looking forward to the $1 million Grand Circuit TVG Championships will serve as a hearty appetizer to nearly $3 million worth of finals on Saturday, November 24. Friday's headliners are a pair of $20,000 Open Handicap events both of which contain TVG eligible looking for a tightner before the final. The Open Mare Pace is led by Pure Country (Y. Gingras). The TVG Final will be the swan song for the great mare whose retirement following the TVG has already been announced. The triple Dan Patch award winner will race sans hopples for the first time on Friday as she closes in on $2.5 million in career earnings for owner/breeder Diamond Creek Racing and trainer Jimmy Takter. The Open Trot boasts the point leader in both the TVG Open and Mare division squaring off for $20,000. After a sparkling beginning to his season that placed him atop the TVG leaderboard, Will Take Charge (Tim Tetrick) has not had his finest form for the past few months and looks to reclaim that position in these late stages for owner Mac Nichol. Ice Attraction's campaign took an opposite course with early season struggles giving way to a successful fall including a World Record equaling performance at The Red Mile and a remarkable trip to gather the place in the Breeders Crown final. Andy Miller drives on Friday for owner/trainer Ake Svanstedt and partners Sipple, Burroughs and Little E, LLC. Saturday night brings a few elimination races for the Grand Circuit season's curtain call for the freshmen. Fifteen trotting colts entered the Valley Victory and after a pair of elimination races the top ten of those will pass through to next week's $435,900 final. It's an even group with the seasonal late bloomers making a last grab for the gold ring before winter training. The Governor's Cup drew 13 colt pacers and after three colts accepted a bye into the $469,300 final ten are left to battle over the seven remaining berths. Breeders Crown winner Captain Crunch (S. Zeron) brings the strongest resume to this one for trainer Nancy Johansson and the partnership of 3 Brothers Stable, Christina Takter, Rojan Stable and Caviart Farms. Both the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid and $391,250 Three Diamonds for 2-year-old trotting and pacing fillies respectively did not require elimination races and those two groups head directly into next week's finals. For good measure, the Saturday card also includes TVG Open Pace point leader and likely final favorite McWicked facing four others in an overnight Open Handicap. Post time for both nights is 7:15 pm. by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - Entries for the lucrative Freshman Fall Final Four stakes were taken today at The Meadowlands. Both filly races, the Three Diamonds and Goldsmith Maid required no elimination races, the Governor's Cup a single elimination and the Valley Victory with two elimination heats on Saturday, November 17.   All of the $1.8 million finals will be raced on Saturday, November 24.   The ten pacing fillies entered for the $391,250 Three Diamonds will go directly to the final and are listed in alphabetical order with driver and trainer:   Alkippe T.Tetrick L.Toscano Beautyonthebeach D. McNair G. McNair Love At First Bite A. McCarthy J. Takter Michelon's Filly M. Miller E. Miller Prescient Beauty D. McNair G. McNair Renaissance Lady K B. Sears N. Parker Summer Charm T. Tetrick R. Burke Sylph Hanover M. Kakaley R. Burke Warrawee Ubeaut Y. Gingras R. Burke Zero Tolerance D. Miller J. Holloway   The ten trotting fillies entered for the $490,000 Goldsmith Maid will go directly to the final and are listed in alphabetical order with driver and trainer:   Asiago B. Miller J. Takter Can't Touch It B. Sears J. Takter Caviart Jenny A. McCarthy N. Johansson Evident Beauty D. Miller R. Norman Fate Smiled M. Kakaley R. Burke Jezzy's Legacy R. Schnittker R. Schnittker Miss You Kelly T. Tetrick B. Lauer Princess Deo A. McCarthy N. Daley Sonnet Grace Y. Gingras R. Burke Stella Jane C. Callahan J. Butenschoen   The $469,300 Governor's Cup drew 13 declarations. The conditions require that byes to the final be offered to the top money winners in descending order. The connections of Captain Crunch and Reigning Deo declined the bye and will race in a single $20,000 10 horse elimination race with three colts to be eliminated from the final.   Accepting the three offered byes were the connections of Blood Money, Semi Tough and Sugar Factory. Those three will join the seven moving successfully from the elimination race to next week's final. The elimination winner will draw from posts 1-6 for the final.   The elim entrants are listed here in alphabetical order with the driver and trainer.   Artie's Ideal M. Miller E. Miller Captain Crunch S. Zeron N. Johansson Duddie's Lor A. McCarthy N. Daley Escapetothebeach T. Tetrick T. Alagna Lyons Johnnyjnr T. Tetrick J. Gillis Mac's Power D. Miller M. Silva Mangogh B. Miller B. Saunders Reigning Deo A. McCarthy B. Pelling Waterway B. Miller T. Alagna Yacht Week C. Lind S. Lind   The $435,900 Valley Victory took 15 declarations and will require 2 $20,000 elimination races. Elimination winners will draw from posts 1-6 for the final.   The elimination entrants are listed here in alphabetical order with the driver and trainer.   Battenberg C. Callahan J. Holloway Chin Chin Hall P. Wrenn M. Wrenn Divine Spirit A. McCarthy B. Pelling Forbidden Trade B. McClure L. Blais Gangham Style KS E. Abbatiello A. Svanstedt Hudson River B. Sears J. Takter No Drama Please A. Miller J. Miller Prospect Hill A. Miller J. Miller Quiksilvr Bluechip A. McCarthy L. Wallin Reign Of Honor D. Miller R. Norman Seven Hills C. Callahan J. Butenschoen Southwind Avenger D. Miller R. Norman Super Schissel Y. Gingras J. Takter Trix And Stones S. Zeron C. Jamieson Union Forces S. Zeron D. Cecere   The draw for the elimination races will be completed later today and available on the Meadowlands website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands      

East Rutherford, NJ - The inaugural edition of a new stake for New Jersey sired 2 year-old trotters christened the "Garden State", a joint effort by the SBOA of NJ and The Meadowlands, will make it's debut on Saturday, November 10.   The colts race in the Saturday opener where three Father Patrick rookies will face three by Trixton for a purse of $50,000.   Reign Of Honor comes in to the Garden State hot on the heels of his mild upset score in last week's $221,540 Kindergarten final. The Father Patrick gelding broke maiden in style with the Grand Circuit stake for owners Deo Volente Farms, Jennifer Dalton Stable and Tom Pontone. Nifty Norman trains and David Miller drives Reign Of Honor.   It is a very competitive group of seven in the $55,000 filly division led by a pair of Trixton fillies, Evident Beauty and Princess Deo, both of whom have been in fine recent form.   Evident Beauty converted the difficult Red Mile double, winning both weeks of Grand Circuit racing in 1:54.4 to go along with her runner up finish in the Peaceful Way. Nifty Norman trains the winner of $178,582 on the year for Mel Hartman, Little E and R A W Equine. Dave Miller has the drive.   Princess Deo raced to a win and a second in Lexington then used a sharp close to nab the place in the Kindergarten filly final. She's at $145,546 seasonally for Deo Volente, Tom Pontone, John Fodera and trainer Noel Daley. Andy McCarthy drives.   The Meadowlands is giving away donuts to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the opening of the new grandstand, stick around for the doughy delights on both Friday and Saturday.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands' live racing weekend is again highlighted by Friday's Kindergarten Series for freshman pacers and trotters with two divisions of each gait and sex going for $10,000 in purses and important points toward the rich finals next Saturday, November 3.   Trainer Linda Toscano sends out a triumvirate of talented trotting prodigies in Hanna Dreamgirl (Andy McCarthy) and Global Pageant (Scott Zeron) going forth in race 1 while Sister's Promise (Zeron) competes in the third, all are currently in position to make the $235,000e final.   In the pacing filly department, Nancy Johansson fields three with JK Mardi Says (McCarthy) going it alone in race 4 is currently in pretty good shape to move on to the final after last week's win, while in the second race both Sweet Diamond (David Miller) and JK American Beauty (McCarthy) need to score some points to advance.   Nancy also trains Izzy Hanover who is not racing on Friday but currently sits 7th in the standings.   Saturday's races are pari-mutuelly satisfying with large, competitive fields and the standard horizontal guarantees.   Saturday night is enriched by the Breeders Crown finals at Pocono where you can take advantage of the reduced 15% take-out right here at The Meadowlands while you play the live card for the best of both worlds.   Friday's promotion is a innovative idea titled "Random Acts of Kindness" where you may have a gift bestowed upon you as you enjoy the racing by doing no more than being there.   Post time for the live is 7:15pm on both nights. Be advised that first post for the Breeders Crown simulcast at Pocono is 5:30pm.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands          

East Rutherford, NJ - The Meadowlands plays host to the penultimate preliminary leg of the popular Kindergarten Classic series, fielding eight $10,000 divisions freshman trotters and pacers among the ten race Friday card.   The sixth and last leg will be raced on Friday, October 26 at The Meadowlands followed a week later by the $150,000 finals for all divisions on Saturday, November 3.   This week's races are compelling what with several talented late bloomers entering the last few legs trying to accumulate points enough to make the finals.   Tony Alagna has seven going including five in the colt pace led by a pair of Captaintreacherous colts in Odds On Boca Raton and Waterway who are coming from Grand Circuit events at the recently concluded Red Mile speed fest.   Nancy Johansson fields five freshmen, featuring a precocious pair of pacing fillies she recently unveiled in Lexington with 1:52ish winning efforts in late-closers. Both Sweet Diamond and Caviart Darlin' are making last minute bids at the Kindergarten final golden ring while gaining valuable racing lessons.   Saturday's dozen races are of the overnight variety with large fields and some promising pari-mutuel puzzlers on the menu.   Also among Saturday's highlights is the 3rd Annual Pork Roll eating competition which begs the question "How much pork roll can you eat in two minutes?". Well, that mystery will have a conclusion and the winner will be $500 richer after the 4th race.   Post time both nights will be 7:15 pm and you may find both free program pages for the guaranteed horizontal wagers and Dave Brower's Race Reviews on the Meadowlands website.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands

  East Rutherford, NJ - At the request of the New Jersey Racing Commission The Meadowlands has submitted a revised 2019 live harness racing schedule application comprised of 76 dates with the addition of eight racing dates in September.   Monmouth Park has submitted an application for 20 Fall Thoroughbred dates at The Meadowlands, racing Friday & Saturday from October 4 through December 7.   The Meadowlands, in conjunction with the SBOA of NJ, continues to make every effort to secure a purse subsidy for 2019. If that purse subsidy should become a reality,   The Meadowlands would add $1 million from the sports betting proceeds and will attempt to work with the management and horsemen of Monmouth Park with the ultimate goal 83 live harness racing dates and the preservation of the fall stakes program.   With the subsidy at the discussed level of $20 million with $6 million of that directed to Meadowlands purses plus the $1 million from sports betting we should be able to increase overnight purses by 75% beginning in January as well as maintaining all of the existing stakes that we raced in 2018.   by Nick Salvi, for the Meadowlands    

Lexington, KY - The postponed third and last $30,000 leg of the Kentucky Sires Stakes (KYSS) for 3-year-olds was raced on Monday at The Red Mile on a cool, overcast evening with the track rated "Good". There was no wagering on the races due to the postponement. American History went another big mile tonight, going under the wire in hand to Yannick Gingras with the greatest of ease in 1:49. The pair settled in fifth early as first Decoy (M. Johansson) then Thinkbig Dreambig (Jimmy Takter) ripped off fast fractions, then came uncovered and went right by the leader just off the last turn and opened up a long lead while restrained. Grand Teton (Andy McCarthy) went another big trip here to be second and Rush To Judgement (Matt Kruger) was third. Tony Alagna trains the winner, a son of American Ideal, for owners Brittany Farms (also the breeder) Marvin Katz and American History Racing. He went through the ring at the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale (LSYS) for $150,000. The colt trot was won by Classichap in 1:53.2, driven tonight by Corey Callahan for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Callahan left for position and was rewarded with an up close view of the speed duel that developed just in front as Eurobond (Domenico Cecere) and Wolfgang traded blows through the 1:23.4 three quarters. From there it was easy with an opening at the rail providing a clear path to victory. EL Platinum (M. Johansson) rallied up for the place and Wolfgang won the showdown for third. Classichap is owned by the Purple Haze Stable who bought him from breeder Hayley Moore at the Lexington sale for $95,000. He went over $100,000 in career earnings with tonight's win. The first of two pacing filly divisions got things underway and Cuts Like A Knife (Marcus Miller) was the winner for local connections, trainer Kevin Thomas and owners Cotton, Francine and Julie Nash. Marcus took the uncovered route with the filly rolling up on Hurikane Express (Corey Callahan) around the second turn and wearing that one down late for the win. Cabowabocuttie (Pete Wrenn) was third. Diamond Creek Farm bred the winner, a $55,000 (LSYS) purchase. Lindy Farms continued their strong roll in the KYSS program winning with yet another homebred, this one the Somebeachsomewhere filly Belle in a career best equaling 1:53.2. Marcus Miller picked up the drive with the defection of Dave Miller after last night's cancellation and gave Belle a perfect steer, landing the pocket behind eventual second place finisher Neverforgetwhour (Elliott Deaton) and getting out just when she needed to for a half-length success. Fine Art (Callahan) was third. Belle is trained by Domenico Cecere. Gingras also drove Ciao Dolce to a win in the first filly trotting race for trainer Bob Stewart in 1:55. Yannick sat in third as Lily Stride (M. Miller) cut the fractions, found a seam in the stretch then wore that rival down in the drive. Bandol Rose (Chuck Norris) was third. Kjell Andersen owns the winner, a $300,000 LSYS graduate bred by Steve Stewart, D. Robinson and Black Creek Farm. Pat Matters, catch driven by Jimmy Takter for trainer Paul Kelley, took the second filly trot split in a new record for her of 1:54.2. Takter sat chilly as first Nixie Volo (Callahan) then Live Laugh Love (Wrenn) took turns on the lead through moderate fractions then split rivals late with good trot to get up. Nixie Volo held second and Supergirl Riley (M. Miller) closed to be third. The Patricia Stable bred and owns the winner, an Explosive Matter filly. The $2 million finals of the KYSS are a part of the championship card on Sept. 16 has a first-race post time of 3 p.m. The Fayette County Fair will run from noon until 6 p.m. Admission is free and the fair will include food trucks, local craft breweries, bourbon tastings and an arts and crafts market. Several music acts will play on two stages (one inside and one outside), with rising country star and Lexington native Walker Montgomery, Avery Crabtree and Conch Republic among the performers. Montgomery is slated to perform on the outdoor stage from 4-6 p.m. The racing program will kick off with a horse parade of various breeds and the Harness Horse Youth Foundation will offer hands-on equine experiences. by Nick Salvi, for The Red Mile

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