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WILKES-BARRE PA - Trainer Mike Deters and driver Anthony Napolitano combined successfully for the second time on a dank (55 degrees, "sloppy +1" surface) Sunday night card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono when Prairie Fortune won the $17,500 featured trot in 1:53.4. "Ant'ny Nap" used the rail to advantage and worked out a good two-hole trip behind pacesetter Crazshana with the victorious altered son of Arapa Victory, then pulled away in the lane to be 3½ lengths clear of that rival at the finish, coming his own last half in 56.3. Trainer Deters co-owns the winner of $398,495 with Laurie Lee Poulin. Earlier, the backers in the crowd were few but were loud, as 99-1 shot College Hanover overcame a first-over trip for driver Drew Chellis to hold off 85-1 shot Takethemoneyandrun by a head in 1:55, returning $336.40 for a $2 ticket. That number was the biggest win mutuel at Pocono since November 17, 2015, when Lady Of The Lake and driver Joe Antonelli returned $400.60 to win after a nose victory. College Hanover, trainer by Richard Dunn for the MBC Stables LLC, did have some license in his pedigree - he is a Well Said out of the $590G winner Castanet Hall, and his ¾ brother Cashendash Hanover pushed his earnings over $575G when he won at Philly last Sunday. But the crowd was discouraged by College Hanover's 0-for-32 lifetime record - not knowing that the 33rd time would be the charm for the sophomore. Pocono is scheduled for a "dark night" tomorrow, as the scheduled annual local golfing tournament is as rabidly followed and enjoyed as much as a Super Bowl or a Wrestlemania card. The weather gods just may smile on the golfers, although rain is the 2-5 favorite at the moment (but if a horse can pay $336.60, ...).   Jerry Connors Jr.

Chester, PA --- After a first-over bid came up short in last week's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, Fashion Farms LLC's Patent Leather ($3.60) overcame the elements and proved dominant in the second of three $30,000 Liberty Bell splits for Pennsylvania-sired 3-year-old trotting colts and geldings on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 9) at Harrah's Philadelphia.   Tim Tetrick floated the son of Broadway Hall forward from his outside post 6 to land in third behind early pacesetter Hill Street (Corey Callahan) and pocket sitter Stonebridge Gamble (Tyler Buter). After drafting patiently behind soft fractions of :29 and :57.2, Tetrick gave Patent Leather his first-over cue with three-eighths to go, and the Jim Campbell trainee's response was instant. He powered past Hill Street at the 1:26.1 three-quarter mark and drew clear at once. He amassed 7-3/4 lengths of clearance over eventual runner-up Stonebridge Gamble at the end of the 1:54 mile, while Hill Street faded to finish third.   Patent Leather, who finished second to Tactical Landing in a Hambletonian elimination, earned the sixth win of his career. For Tetrick, the win capped a Liberty Bell double on the card, as he also teamed up with Tom Fanning trainee Mississippi Storm ($10.60) for a 1:54.3 victory over Scirocco Rob (Callahan) in the first trotting division.   Toast Of Lindy ($9.00, 1:56.1) rounded out the winners of the trotting divisions, taking advantage of an early break from twos-on favorite Lindy's Big Bang (Dexter Dunn) and edging away late in rein to Andy Miller for trainer Julie Miller.   Liberty Bell - 3-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace   Hayden Hanover ($2.20), runner-up to Dorsoduro Hanover in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes final, won the last of four $30,000 Liberty Bell divisions for sophomore pacing colts and geldings convincingly, shrugging off a challenge from JK Wildfire (Dunn) en route to a 1:51.1 mile amid intensifying wind and rain. Andy Miller sent the son of Somebeachsomewhere to the lead at race's outset, and the pair controlled fractions of :27.2 and :56 before JK Wildfire emerged at their flank to press a :28 third sectional.   Despite his rival working to within a head a quarter from home, Hayden Hanover responded in kind, kicking on the afterburners at the eighth pole and edging away to a two-length win with plenty left in reserve. Daddyofemall (Mike Wilder) chased off cover to narrowly claim third.   Julie Miller trains four-time winner Hayden Hanover for the Pinske Stables, Andy Miller Stable, TLP Stable and Deo Volente Farms. For the Millers, Hayden Hanover capped a stakes double on the card.   Iluvtomakemoney ($51.00) opened the pacing proceedings with a major upset, circling four-wide from astern under Dexter Dunn to narrowly reach in 1:53.1 for trainer Mark Harder.   Messenger starter Winston ($10.60) followed in the second division by vaulting from the pocket to overtake odds-on pacesetter Terror Atthe Beach (George Napolitano Jr.) and stave off a late charge from Go West Go Fast (Matt Kakaley) by half a length in 1:53. Corey Callahan drove for trainer John Butenschoen.   After breaking in his two previous starts, Wheels On Fire ($10.80) and Matt Kakaley righted the ship in the third division with a 1:52.1 mile which saw him emerge late from the pocket to upend Macadoodledoo (Tetrick) by half a length. It was the seventh career win for the Ron Burke trainee.   Multiple players successfully hit the 20-cent Jackpot Hi-5 in the afternoon's fifth race, resulting in a carryover of $2,119.85 to Wednesday (Sept. 12). First post is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.   James Witherite Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

CHESTER, PA - A big harness racing week for Pennsylvania-sired two-year-old colts at Harrah's Philadelphia started on Wednesday afternoon with six divisions of the second preliminary leg of the Pennsylvania Stallion Series for trotters. Trainer Domenico Cecere, head trainer for the powerful Lindy Farms and profiled in the just-delivered edition of Hof Beats magazine, conditioned the first two winners. The first was an impressive Muscle Hill - Brooklyn colt named Kings County, who was the fastest of all entrants in the six divisions going into the contest by virtue of a 1:56 morning Meadowlands outing. Here he followed the cover of Holiday Hangover, went on when that one cleared before the ¾, and outdueled him by a neck while trotted his own back half in 56.2, much of it raw, in completing a 1:57.1 package. David Miller handled the driving duties for the maiden win of Kings Court for the Lindy Farms of Connecticut. Cecere then sent out the Cantab Hall - Southwind Catlin colt Union Forces for his purse debut, and the youngster, a winner in all three of his morning races, fastest in 1:57.3, needed only 2:00.1 to take his initial pari-mutuel contest. Scott Zeron just let the colt grind away first-over, and the pair finished in 29 to be three lengths clear at the finish for Lindy Farms of Connecticut, Robert Rudolph, David Anderson, and John Fielding. The Donato Hanover - Seducer Hall gelding Faithfulandtrue remained undefeated after three starts, including two in the Stallion Series, after coming home in 57.4 on the engine while taking a new mark of 1:58. Mike Cole sat in the sulky behind the streaking freshman for trainer Joe Columbo and George& Tina Dennis Racing. Donato Hanover then added a second baby with a 2-for-2 Stallion Series record to his credit when the colt Crossfit, out of the mare Muscle Test, rallied from second-over to take a new mark of 2:00.2 in a finish that saw five competitors within a length at the finish. George Napolitano Jr. guided the Chris Beaver pupil for owner Joe Sbrocco, with the two Stallion Series wins constituting Crossfit's lifetime purse record. As soon as you see the phrase "Muscle Hill freshman gelding," you know you have a ton of potential mixed in with likely behavorial problems. The Muscle Hill - Proclaiming April gelding Final Claim had been certainly all of both prior to his Stallion Series event today, but this was the day he put it all together, setting the pace and stepping home in 57.3 to leave his field 8¼ lengths behind while winning in the stakes action's fastest time of 1:56.4, only a tick off the North American season's record. Matt Kakaley and Ron Burke, certainly on a roll in the past week (hello, Dorsoduro), teamed behind the fast winner for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phil Collura, J&T Silva - Purnel & Libby, and Michelle Yanek. In the final Stallion Series event, a circle was completed as trainer Domenico Cecere of Lindy Farms, who had won the first two divisions, also took the last, as the Cantab Hall - Lindys Gone Crazy colt Lindy's Crazy Hall made his purse debut a winning one in 1:57.4. David Miller had the colt on an open lead the last half and still had three lengths in early stretch, but here came first-round StS winner Forecast - only as Forecast narrowed in he also bore wide, and that may have contributed to Lindy's Crazy Hall keeping a ½-length advantage to the finish. Lindy Farms of Connecticut is the owner of the developing youngster. Tomorrow three divisions of this section's Pennsylvania Sire Stakes group goes postward, with a pair of Muscle Hill colts, Prospect Hill and Demon On The Hill, hoping to take their PaSS records to 2-for-2.  From the PHHA/Harrah's Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - On May 1 and 2, trainer Joshua Parker qualified four New Zealand imports in preparation for their Stateside harness racing careers. On June 6 at 4 p.m., their U.S. record is a combined 14-11-2-0, and they have won $69,650. The latest contributor to the incredible Parker skein is Kaitlyn N, who ran her U.S. record to 5-4-1-0-$26,000 by taking a new mark of 1:52 while winning the $17,000 featured pace for fillies and mares Wednesday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia. Driver Art Stafford Jr. took control just after the quarter pole with the American Ideal mare, and she finished out in 55.1 to be 2¼ lengths ahead at the finish. Trainer Parker is co-owner of the promising distaff with Nanticoke Racing Inc. and Barry Spedden. FINISHING LINES Harrah's Philadelphia will add an extra live card of racing this Saturday, Belmont Day. As Justify tries for the Thoroughbred Triple Crown by going the longest distance he has ever attempted, a field of trotters at Harrah's will go the shortest distance they have ever attempted locally - 5/8 of a mile, once around the oval. Since a 5/8-mile pace on the recent Super Sunday card lowered that world record after Toastmygoats covered the sprint distance in 1:07.1, there's every reason to believe that the 1:09 world record for the short course on the trot may be going by the wayside as well - especially with the presence in the race of Hemi Seelster, a noted speedster. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia  

Hey, did you notice Lazurus won in 1:55.1 at Pocono Saturday? For those of you who have been hearing about the coming of the “Wonder from Down Under” to North America, you may be thinking, “I didn’t even know he was ready to race!” Well, the pacer Lazarus N has not yet raced. And notice there are three differences between the initial sentence and the idea you had after reading the second one: 1) the Lazurus in the first paragraph is a trotter; 2) the trotter spells his name “Lazurus,” while the pacer has “Lazarus” as his birth name – note the difference in middle letters … And 3) the most important difference – because registry books do not “overlap” worldwide, you can have a Lazurus in this country, and then if you bring another horse over, he should be called Lazarus N, to reflect he is a New Zealander in origin. (Yes, these two horses’ names are spelled differently, but I still hope that the USTA requires Lazarus to carry an “N” after his name.) Publicists and announcers are going to dislike this recommendation, because nowadays they are in the habit of dropping “A”s, “N”s, “S”s (which the fastest trotter of all time carries in his North American incarnation), “IT”s, and so on. But it can make a difference in public perception. Earlier this year, there was an import named Waikiki Beach, a fine pacer who is now going in the 1:50 range. But rightfully he is here officially known as Waikiki Beach A, to distinguish him from the talented trotter of not-too-distant history. The using of this end letter I think is an important one. It IS their official name in the land in which they are racing, for the very purposes of avoiding registry (and fan) confusion. This point was driven home to me at Foxboro over 30 years ago, where a horse named Flamboyant A was racing in a “n/w $100 per start” class, and not doing well. The announcer was calling this horse “Flamboyant,” and I thought of Billy Haughton, who had just suffered his fatal racing accident, and the very good trotting filly named Flamboyant he had had, and thinking, “Geez, Haughton would cringe to hear this cheap pacer called the same name as that top trotting filly.” I don’t know why the letter designating country of origin has been largely dropped. Maybe it’s not “cool,” disharmonious in announcing or writing. But I think it is WRONG to drop it. The omission causes confusion, and could cause people doing research to be shaking their heads at the performance discrepancy records of horses similarly-named but not the imports. It’s their name in North America. Like the Biblical Lazarus, we need to bring back using the whole name, with end letter, from the dead pool of fashion it is now in. And it wouldn’t take a miracle to do it. by Jerry Connors, for Harnesslink

CHESTER PA - Bettorhaveanother and harness racing driver Yannick Gingras pulled a mild upset in the $18,000 featured pace for distaffs Friday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, turning back favored Princess Fabulosa by 1¼ lengths in 1:50.4. The Bettor's Delight mare and Gingras dashed right to the top and cut relatively tame (for this type) fractions of 27.1 and 56.1. With Princess Fabulosa coming first-up from third, Bettorhaveanother turned on the afterburners with a 26.4 third quarter, stopping the timer at that point in 1:22.4, then tacked on a 27.3 last quarter to hold off her tough rival. Ron Burke conditions the winner of $340,377 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. (Burke also conditions the winner of last week's winner in this class, Windsun Glory, who steps up to Great Northeast Series competition on Sunday night at Pocono.) Hard-knocking older pacers are set to threaten the 1:50 barrier given good weather on Sunday afternoon, as Harrah's hosts two $30,000 divisions of the Great Northeast Open Series. The first division is wide-open, as reflected in the fact that the morning line favorite is 4-1 Feeling Cam Lucky, going for his fourth win in a row as he takes a big stepup in class. A bit more sure of a favorite is Rodeo Romeo (3-1) in the second division, although he like Feeling Cam Lucky must start from post seven in a field of eight. Rodeo Romeo posted the fastest mile of the year at Pocono last Saturday in the first round of the Great Northeast, winning in 1:49.2. His biggest competition may come from Heaven Rocks A, who makes his North American debut here after racing with honor against the very best Australasian pacers Down Under. PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

CHESTER PA - Windsun Glory, a mare looking to be on her way to better things, posted her second straight victory at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon, posting a clear victory in the $18,000 distaff pacing mares feature at the riverside oval. Driver Yannick Gingras moved the Mach Three mare to the lead in front of the stands and held sway from there, stepping home in 55.2 to equal her 1:51.3 winning clocking of last week. Princess Fabulosa, beset by almost every form of bad racing luck known to man and horse - a second-tier draw, early interference, a shuffling to last, a three-wide move most of the backstretch continuing to two-wide on the turn - still came on to be a very good second, 2¼ lengths behind the winner. Ron Burke, the leading trainer at the young meet, conditions the winner of $260,665 for Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva Stables LLC, and Lawrence Karr. Windsun Glory went over the quarter-million dollar plateau winning last week; the Camluck mare Cousin Mary did it today ($250,240) in the $14,500 distaff subfeature, and she went even faster than "Glory," taking a new mark of 1:51. Corey Callahan, who like Tim Tetrick had three sulky successes on the day, reserved Cousin Mary off a contested pace, made one decisive backstretch brush to the lead, and then left the field in her wake for trainer Andrew Harris and owner Jeffrey Williamson. A special Kentucky Derby Saturday card will be featured at Harrah's tomorrow at 12:40, with the inaugural events of the summerlong $1.8 million Great Northeast Open Series headlining - a $30,000 trot with the likes of Rock Of Cashel, Opulent Yankee, and Melady's Monet, and a $30,000 mares pace including Nike Franco N, Lispatty, and Darlinonthebeach.   Jerry Connors

CHESTER PA - Favored Perseverance seemed to have everything going his way in the $18,000 trotting feature at Harrah's Philadelphia Thursday - two of his six rivals made breaks before the quarter, and another harness racing rival, who had suffered early interference, made a crucial break after gaining the lead on the far turn - but waiting in the wings behind him was Fashion Creditor, who came strongly in the stretch to nip the chalk by a neck in 1:54.3. Perseverance went quickly to the top from the outside seven, with second choice Sir John F jumping early and then Common Parlance making a break right at the 27.3 quarter, bothering Fraser Ridge. The leader got a cheap second split of 30 seconds, but down the backstretch Fraser Ridge, a winner of almost $400,000 making his seasonal bow, swept right past Perseverance as the ¾ pole was reached in 1:25. Nearing midturn, though, the script changed again as Fraser Ridge lost composure and went into the infield, giving the favorite another life. But Fashion Creditor and driver Marcus Miller, who had enjoyed the cushy trip in the golden chair, made their move at headstretch and had enough to take the measure of Perseverance nearing the wire. Tom Fanning trains the Credit Winner gelding, now a winner of $425,622, for owner Joseph Smith. FINISHING LINES - Rock Of Cashel, winner of two straight at Harrah's, and 1:48 mare Nike Franco N, in her 2018 debut, have been accorded morning line favoritism for the two $30,000 events on Saturday's special Kentucky Derby Day card that will kick off the summerlong $1.8M Great Northeast Open Series, to be raced at Harrah's and Pocono. Tim Tetrick, who has taken the lead early in the meet's dash victory battle, is scheduled to drive both favorites - Rock Of Cashel from post three in the trotters contest, and Nike Franco N from post five in the mares pace. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, May 3, 2018 -- He didn't reach the championship leg of last year's Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, but Closing Statement figures to have a lot to say Saturday at The Meadows when the PASS kicks off with the Bye Bye Byrd, a $169,288 event for harness racing 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. The Kentucky Derby Day card also features a $60,000 PA Stallion Series stake for sophomore colt and gelding pacers, a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5 and a variety of fan-centered events, including drink and beverage specials, live music and raffles. Special post time Saturday is 11:25 AM. Closing Statement won the PASS consolation, but the son of Somebeachsomewhere-Ideal Newton really started to shine in late-season stakes, finishing third in the Breeders Crown final and second in the Matron Stake while amassing a $286,281 bankroll. Joe Holloway, who trains the $125,000 yearling acquisition for Val D'Or Farms, Rojan Stables and Ted Gewertz, indicates that total could have been higher. "If he learned to relax, he'd be even better," Holloway says. "He's high strung, and I probably raced him one too many times. Those 15 starts last year are more than I'd like for a 2-year-old. "He's eligible for all the big ones, but he won't be able to go with them if he's still so high strung. Saturday will be the first step to tell me which way I'm going with him." Closing Statement prepped for his PASS debut with a pair of qualifiers that couldn't have been more different. "He was a little hot the first time," Holloway says, "so we just took him off the gate and sat in with him the second qualifier. That's obviously not the way you want to race. He trained well this week, and he'll be going forward from the gate. He's up to going where he has to." Closing Statement sold as Ian Hanover, but Holloway says there's no particular significance to his current name. "Marty Granoff (of Val D'Or Farms) likes to change names. I think he'd like to change my name. I don't worry too much about names. I once thought the worst name I ever heard for a colt was Jenna's Beach Boy. By the end of his career, I thought his name sounded okay." Closing Statement goes from post 3 in race 8 with Corey Callahan aboard. Advance wagering for the Kentucky Derby -- and the entire Churchill Downs card -- begins Friday. Derby Day festivities include: Day-long food and beverage specials on the apron beginning at 11 AM as well as a buffet at the Carvery Patio; The annual Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, at both the track and its Harmar facility, with cash prizes for winners. Registration begins at noon; Paddock tours and starting gate rides, courtesy the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association; A "losing ticket" raffle for restaurant and betting vouchers and the grand prize -- accommodations at the Cambria Hotel & Suites to enable the winner to enjoy The Meadows' simulcast of the Belmont, the third jewel of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown. A free concert on the apron at the conclusion of the live card. Featured band is No Bad JuJu. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, May 2, 2018 — Glidinthruparadise kept to her task — even when it seemed she was racing for second — and nailed the 3-5 Expose Yourself in the shadow of the wire in Wednesday’s $20,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Seeking her fourth straight victory, Expose Yourself appeared to put the field away with a blistering 27.3 third quarter. But the 5-1 Glidinthruparadise, still chasing from the two hole, dug deep for trainer/driver Brian Zendt and downed Expose Yourself by a length in 1:54, matching her career best. Dreamsteeler finished third. Lisa Dunn owns Glidinthruparadise, a 5-year-old daughter of Yankee Glide-Chowda who now boasts $173,408 in career earnings. Tony Hall and Zendt each piloted three winners on the 12-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the Kentucky Derby Day card features $229,288 in Pennsylvania Sires Stakes, a $15,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 4, a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Pick 5 and a variety of fan-centered activities, including drink and beverage specials, live music and raffles. Special post time Saturday is 11:25 AM.   Evan Pattak  

CHESTER PA - The Bettor's Delight mare Divas Image, despite having to go first-over, paced her back half in a sizzling 54.1 to take the harness racing $18,000 featured distaff pace at Harrah's Philadelphia on Friday afternoon. Driver Joe Bongiorno got away third from the rail with the winner of $362,682, then sent her out and up first-over, and Divas Image responded, going a 26.3 split down the back in the process of gunning to the lead, and then tacking on a 27.3 back quarter to easily handle her competition by 3¾ lengths while taking a new lifetime mark of 1:51. Jennifer Bongiorno trains the fast five-year-old, who has now won two straight and 5-of-9 in 2018. The victory was perhaps a bit bittersweet, because on Monday Eugene Kurzrok, a partner in both the Our Horse Cents Stables and Stable 45, which shares ownership of the winner with J&T Silva Stables LLC, had passed away at 81. Among the ownership of such stars as Mission Brief and Southwind Frank, Kurzrok was among the sport's higher-profile owners, and the victory of Divas Image may help allay some of the grief of his friends and partners. For the total Friday Philly card, the "Ohio Millers" combined for half the victories in the 14 races, with David winning four times (the first three with Nifty Norman trainees) and Brett three. PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

WASHINGTON, PA, April 19, 2018 -- When she takes to The Meadows racetrack in Saturday's $26,000 championship of the Margaret Provost Memorial Trot for the harness racing 3-year-old fillies, Kenziesky Hanover will bring an unusual name -- and an unusual amount of talent -- to the fray. The Margaret Provost (race 2) is one of four series finals for 3-year-olds that The Meadows will host Saturday, with a combined $101,900 in purses up for grabs. Also featured are: the Ruby Cook Memorial Trot for filly pacers (race 3), the Ben Wood Memorial Trot for colts and geldings (race 4) and the Tom Kirwan Memorial Pace for colts and geldings (race 9). First post Saturday is 1:05 PM. The naming of Standardbreds is a phenomenon that's part science, part art, part frustration. All names proposed in this country must be approved by the United States Trotting Association, the breed registrar, which limits names to 18 characters -- including spaces. Hanover Shoe Farms, perennially the sport's leading breeder, always uses "Hanover" in foal names. Add the space before it, and you're left with only 10 characters to fashion colorful, creative names. Hanover's Website lists well over 300 broodmares; naming their foals is a challenge that Hanover meets in part by inviting harness racing fans and Hanover staff to suggest names. Jodi Markle estimates that she's named about 40 foals in the seven years she's worked in administration at Hanover. She named Blaise MM Hanover for her son, for example; that horse has banked more than $285,000 and continues to race. In similar fashion, she named Kenziesky Hanover (Cantab Hall-Kandor Hanover) for Kenzie Sky, the 4-year-old daughter of her cousin, Mike Wolf. Weanling/yearling purchasers have the right to change the names bestowed by breeders, so even the most clever or appropriate monikers may not last. That's where the frustration can come in. "That's happened to me a couple times, but it doesn't bother me," Markle says. "I'll just reuse the original names somewhere down the line." Her colorful name won't allow Kenziesky Hanover to win the Margaret Provost championship, but her talent might. She was purchased for a modest $7,000 by J. Patrick Huber and Glenn Congrove, and her trainer, Bill Zendt knows what shut down the auction so soon. "I like her body and the way she looks, but her conformation is not the best," Zendt says, "I was a little leery, but when she went for so little, Pat Huber wanted her. She showed signs of being a nice filly last year, but she got a little sore, and we quit with her early." Indeed, she had only two starts at 2, but after a pair of in-the-money finishes to begin this season, she added Lasix and put it all together in last week's series leg and scored impressively on the front end in 1:57.2, fastest mile in the series thus far. "She raced good on the front, but I don't think it really matters," Zendt said. "There are three or four in the final who are real even, so it should be competitive. I don't know where we'll go with her after the series, but if she stays healthy, I think she'll compete." Kenziesky Hanover goes from post 5 with Brian Zendt aboard. Also on Saturday, Mychoice members can compete in a Thoroughbred handicapping contest, with Laurel Park the featured track. More information is available at the retail counter in the track's Racebook. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

WASHINGTON, PA, April 3, 2018 — Agent Mac made it three straight Tuesday at The Meadows when he wore down the leader, What A Hunk, with a persistent uncovered move that carried him to victory in the opening leg of the Ben Wood Memorial Trot. Conservator took the other $15,000 opening-leg division in the series for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. The event honors the late Ben Wood, longtime trainer, driver and owner at The Meadows. Winless at 2, Agent Mac opened his sophomore campaign with a pair of victories highlighted by mid-pack moves. Tuesday’s win was a carbon copy, as he moved from fourth for Wilbur Yoder and finally subdued What A Hunk in deep stretch, downing him by a nose in 1:59.2 over a sloppy surface. Mr Contestant recovered from an early break and earned show. Rich Gillock trains the Muscle Massive-Mac’s Caper K gelding for owner/breeder Bob Key. In the $18,000 Filly & Mare Preferred Handicap Pace, Rosemary Rose and Mike Wilder worked out a cozy 30.3 second quarter, a breather that helped them hold off the late rally of Albany Girl and defeat her by a head in 1:54. The pocket-sitting Graceful Vision finished third. Ron Burke trains the 4-year-old daughter of Foreclosure N-Pantathlon who extended her career bankroll to $270,792, for Burke Racing Stable, Jason Melillo and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Trainer Dirk Simpson enjoyed a triple on the 13-race card. Evan Pattak

WILKES-BARRE PA - Driver Mike Simons, known as the "Pocono Trot Man" because of his success rate with horses of the diamondgaited variety, guided two of the three divisional winners in the $15,000 first prelim of the Bobby Weiss Series for trotting distaffs Tuesday night over a sloppy surface at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Myrna Myrna, who had found her form at The Meadows for trainer Scott Betts as 2017 changed to 2018, made her first start in 2½ months a successful one, winning her division in a career best 1:57.4 with Simons sulkysitting. Despite having to go first-over into a 57.3 back half, Myrna Myrna was able to draw away by 2¼ lengths over Girl Crush, who raced well in her career debut. The victorious four-year-old daughter of Chapter Seven looms a major factor in the series for owner Timothy Betts. "The Trot Man" also had to go the uncovered route with the Donato Hanover filly Ms American Muscle, making her 2018 bow, in the second cut, but the raw challenger was able to outmuscle pacesetting Baby Wants home by ¾ of a length while lowering her mark 2 3/5 seconds to 1:59.2 for Simons, trainer Jenny Melander, and owner John Devito. The third section proved a tough stretch battle between a pair of 7-5 shots, pacesetting Miss Ruby and pocket-to-Pocono Pike challenger Via Lattea IT - who not only was making her stateside debut, but also doubled trainer Ã…ke Svanstedt's collection of white horses to two (White Bliss). Via Lattea IT had had five months away from the races before Tuesday's outing, and she just failed to overhaul the Cantab Hall four-year-old mare Miss Ruby by a head at the end of a 1:59.2 mile. Simon Allard was in the sulky behind the winner for trainer Kelvin Harrison and the Spaaaartners (four a's - we double-checked) ownership. In the $14,000 co-feature for distaff pacers, trainer Brianne Good scored her first-ever Pocono victory, and the third of her four-month conditioning career, when driver Jim Taggart Jr. was able to rally the Well Said mare Shutthefrontdoor from last at the half to win in 1:54 and light up the tote board at $51.80. The victorious mare, owned by Guy Beaulieu and Richard Villenueve, came her last half in just a shade over 55 and won going away by two lengths. Jerry Connors

As we barrel forward into the month of April, we are still waiting for signs of spring to show up in the weather in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Rest assured, however, the cold weather hasn't had any negative effect on the early-season racing at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. If anything, the racing action is ripping along as if we were all basking in a heat wave in the middle of summer. That means lots of competition for this edition of the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: WALKS OF LIFE First of all, any horse sort of named after an 80's hit gets my immediate stamp of approval. But this eight-year-old gelding has brought the game to match up with the name. And his success started long before he arrived at Pocono for the beginning of the meet. Racing on the New Jersey circuit, Walks Of Life hit the board in every one of his first eight 2018 races while winning five of them. He didn't waste any time at Pocono either, winning his first two races of the meet in gate-to-wire fashion. After winning at the $12,500 and $15,000 claiming levels, he went back at it against the $15,000 claimers on Saturday night. This time around, he was working for a new barn, going for trainer Toni Freitas after the bulk of his 2018 success came with Vincent Fusco Jr. Even with the barn switch, the Pocono faithful believed in Walks Of Life, making him a 3-5 favorite as he left from post position #1 in a field of eight. When driver Jim Morrill Jr. asked him for a quick burst of speed on the front stretch, he moved to the lead, which is where he loves to operate. From there, the favorite handled a first-over challenge from Mainland Key N, while the pocket tripping Annuity tried to stay close for a final rally. But the rest of the field turned out to be playing for second, as Walks Of Life glided away from the pursuit and ended up winning by 5 ½ convincing lengths in a season-best time of 1:51:2. Now with wins in seven of ten on the year, he also became the first horse to rack up three wins in the Pocono 2018 meet. And, with how great he's been going, he'll probably be tough to beat as he tries to be first to four. Other top pacers this week include: Cowboy Terrier (Eric Carlson, Ron Burke), who scored a condition victory on Saturday night in a sizzling time of 1:50, fastest of both his career and of all pacers on the young 2018 racing season at Pocono; Kimberlee (Jim Marohn Jr., Ake Svanstedt), a filly whose victory on Sunday night in the first leg of the Bobby Weiss late closer series made her two-for-two at Pocono in the meet and came in a career-best 1:53:3; and Charmbro Curiosity (Marcus Miller, Dan Morrissey), who stepped up in claiming price to $10,000 on Saturday night and won his second straight at Pocono, this one coming in 1:53:4. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: TOUR DE LINDY A year ago as a three-year-old, the most memorable win for Tour De Lindy came when trainer Lucas Wallin drove him to a victory at Pocono at some of the longest odds for any winner in the entirety of 2017 at the track. When he returned to Pocono racing on March 27, he came in much more highly-regarded. He had begun the year with back-to-back near-miss second-place finishes at The Meadowlands. With Wallin handing the driving chores off to Marcus Miller, the four-year-old gelding easily handled a tough non-winners of four grouping in 1:55, which marked a new career-best time. On Sunday night, Tour De Lindy stepped up his game to face the non-winners of six group with a purse of $17,000. Leaving from a #6 post in a field of eight, he was made the 1-2 betting favorite in a field of eight. And Miller once again set about putting him out in front of the field with a move to the outside on the race's first turn. With seemingly no sweat, Tour De Lindy stepped past Zagster and grabbed the lead, daring anyone to come and try to catch him. Needless to say, nobody could, nor did anyone really threaten his supremacy in the race. After being rated well by Miller, Tour De Lindy powered home in the lane to win by 2 ¾ lengths over Ataboy Hanover and matched his career-best time of 1:55 from the week before in the process. That time was also the fastest of any trotter on the week at Pocono. Considering how well he's been racing, it will likely be quite a stretch before this gelding is ever again deemed a long shot like he was a year ago. Honorable mention on the trotting side goes to: Ameliosi (Marcus Miller, Jenny Melander), a mare whose victory in a condition group on Saturday night in 1:55:1 gave her four wins in five races on the year; Chas Hanover (George Napolitano Jr., Gilberto Garcia-Herrera), who picked up a win in a division of the Weiss series for male trotters on Sunday night in 1:56:2, the fastest time of the three Weiss divisions for that group; and Myrna Myrna (Mike Simons, Scott Betts), who posted the fastest winning time among three divisions of the Weiss for distaff trotters in the slop on Tuesday night with a 1:57:4 victory, a new career-best. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR This mare rallied from way back in Tuesday night's featured condition pace to win at 24-1 with Jim Taggart Jr. in the bike, paying off $51.80 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: MIKE SIMONS Mike looks well-stocked in the distaff trotting Weiss series after scoring victories in two of the three divisions of the first leg held on Tuesday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: JENNY MELANDER Melander had fun with the trotters at Pocono this week, scoring trotting victories with Ameliosi on Saturday night, Meadowbranch Ricky on Sunday, and Ms American Muscle on Tuesday. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at   Jim Beviglia

Qualifying races at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, scheduled for Wednesday, March 21st, will be moved to Thursday, March 22nd, due to the impending winter storm, and for the safety of our horsemen and horses. Races have already been drawn. Jennifer Starr

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